A Different Learner, A Different Teacher

By: Jonathan Ingwer

When teaching a young student, one has to be a dynamic thinker. A good educator teaches in a way that the student is able to understand and perceive the material, not in the way that the educator deems correct all around. People have different styles in which they can absorb and understand subject matter, these are called learning styles. There are three main learning styles, visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic. Although these three learning styles are each different, a student may learn best using a combination of them. Visual learners learn primarily by viewing the material and their relationships, such as with pictures, charts, or graphs. Auditory learners tend to do better when listening to the information rather than seeing it, and speaking about it rather than writing it. Kinaesthetic learners combine movement, touch, and learning. They learn best by experiencing the material first hand and practicing its potential uses.

It is most important for an educator to get to know their student well enough to understand which learning style(s) will be most beneficial, to utilize different techniques, and to alter their teaching style to match the student’s learning style. This will ensure that the student can better understand and retain the material being taught. When teaching a student that is primarily an auditory learner, the educator should focus on providing auditory input while teaching either verbally or through songs or poems and recite information out loud. The educator should also encourage their student to speak up and discuss their knowledge and questions during class. Finally, the educator of a kinaesthetic learner should focus on giving the student as much hands-on experience with the subject matter as possible and combine movement with learning.

Although we can view these three learning styles as separate, a more progressive approach to teaching would be to observe the student more intently in order to identify whether she/he has a combination of learning styles, as most people tend to. Furthermore, altering the way in which you teach in order to accommodate a student with a combination of learning styles is imperative to keeping them interested in the material, as well as maximize the student’s retention of the course matter.



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