Holistic Education Network ...  

Learning Styles

This approach to learning emphasizes the fact that individuals perceive and process information in different ways. Learning styles theory implies that individuals learn more when the educational experience is geared toward their preferred style of learning and when the learning process involves cycles through different learning styles.

Learning styles theories are based on one or more models about an individuals natural and/or learned disposition for perceiving and processing of information:

These models can serve students as a framework for thinking about themselves as learners. In doing this they become aware of  their strengths and weaknesses as a learner. Some models come with recommended ways of studying for each Learning Style - something which students find very useful though they need to be careful how they use the information.

For the holistic educator it is important not to label students or have students limit themselves to preferred learning and thinking modes. Students should be encouraged to move flexibly between learning styles as they express and develop their wholeness. 

They should also be encouraged to work collaboratively and cooperatively with those whose preferred learning styles may be different. By understanding that everyone has different preferred learning styles students begin to value diversity and discover new ways to co-create new possibilities.

A real advantage of working with learning styles is that it promotes multiple pedagogical approaches by teachers and empowers students to take control of their own learning. When used within a holistic education framework where students can bring in their profound questions and where activities are also designed to stimulate student's learning and thinking development stage, these can be tools for transformation.



Learning Style Inventories


Learning Styles - University of Toronto site

Learning Styles - Resources

Learning styles and learning outcomes - Faculty of Education, Deakin University

Learning Styles and Strategies - for students and teachers.

Herrmann's Whole Brain Model - a four quardrant model with a learning cycle

David Kolb -  models of experiential learning - emphasises an experiential learning cycle




Index of learning Styles - metacognitive questions. Active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, sequential/global.

Learning Styles Evaluation - online test for visual/auditory/kinesthetic

VARK Learning Styles Questionaire - for students - visual/aural/read/kinesthetic - includes study strategies.

Learning Styles: Modality Preference Inventory - pen and paper test for visual/auditory/kinesthetic/tactile. 

Paragon Learning Style Inventory - extravert/introvert, sensate/intuitive, thinker/feeler, judger/perceiver. Pen and paper version.

See also: Multiple Intelligence Theory and Learning and Thinking Stages


 HOME    Holistic Education Network of Tasmania, Australia
GPO Box 516, Hobart 7001, Tasmania, Australia             Fax: 03-62242455 International Fax: -61-3-62242455    
Comments to:   HENT2@bigpond.com     and/or     Join join the discussion list