Learning Styles

Personality types and learning

Fairhurst & Fairhurst(1995) describe four different temperaments and core needs and skills that accompany them:

Temperament Core Needs Skills
Guardian Membership and belonging Logistics and facilitation
Responsibility and duty
Artisan Freedom and action Tactics and performance
Excitation and variation
Idealist Identity and self-actualization Guidance and advocacy
Meaning and significance
Rational Knowledge and competence Strategy and design
Willpower and mastery

Keeping these needs and skills of different learning types in mind, a teacher can better facilitate learning. Furthermore, students who understand these personality types can discover what kind of personality their teacher has and therefore better understand his/her teaching style. At least on the college level, students can suggests methods to the professor that work best for them. For example a "rational" person may want to work in groups where each member is anhe effect on group work. In groups, individuals take on the role of teacher at different times. In order to effectively communicate, it is important to understand how your pupil learns.

There are many different definitions and ways of measuring learning styles. One definition proposes that learning style is an individual's collection of skills and preferences that affect how a person perceives, gathers, and processes information. (http://web.indstate.edu/ctl/styles.articles.html) Focusing specifically on Auditory-Visual-Kinesthetic learning styles provides a in-depth understanding of the different ways to make learning more accesible to these different types of learners. These three styles are based on one's sensory intake of information. Understanding these different styles may help a person to understand how he acts in a group, learns, participates in activities, relates to others, solves problems, teaches and works. (http://www.fln.vcu.edu/Intensive/LearningStrategies.html) Individual's learning styles can change over the course of a lifetime. Most children are kinesthetic learners, preferring to touch and taste everything. However, most adult learners are visual learners. An estimated 65% of the adult population are visual learners. (http://mindtools.com/mnemlsty.html) The benefits to understanding learning styles is that as a learner and a teacher, you can use a multidisciplinary approach. A multidisciplinary approach may help learners and teachers to expand learning styles and become more adept through multiplicity. Learning is reinforced through the use of mulitiple sensory connections. (http://www.fln.vcu/Intensive/LearningStrategies.html) Understanding how you learn helps you to become a better learner.

[An essay by Erica Chang.]

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