Some people are the star football player on the team; others can sing like a popstar. In a similar sort of way, we all differ in how we learn new things in school. If you can work out what ‘type of learner’ you are, you can do the schoolwork that your teacher sets you in a way which suits you best. Everyone’s brain is different and so everyone has a different way of learning. This will help you to learn things faster and get the most out of the hours you spend at school and doing homework.
We generally split the types of learners into three groups.
GROUP 1: ‘SEEING’ LEARNERS
These people learn by remembering the way things look. Have you heard anyone say they have a ‘photographic memory’? They mean that they can remember exactly what a picture looks like. Although it’s unlikely that they can remember every single detail, this person is probably a seeing or visual learner. Seeing learners might be very good at games like spot-the-difference, and they can probably remember the pictures from books or where words are on a page.
If you think you’re a seeing learner, you might want to try:
• Making your school work very colourful
• Drawing out a picture of what you need to remember in shapes rather than words
• Reading through textbooks once quickly and writing down everything you can remember, then going back to the book and adding things you left out
GROUP 2: ‘HEARING’ LEARNERS
These people learn by remembering the way things sound. Do you know someone who can sing along to all the words of a song after just hearing it once? They are probably a hearing learner, which is sometimes called an auditory learner. Right for Education have published lots of articles about dyslexia [hyperlink to ‘what is dyslexia] this week. If you have dyslexia you may find that you are a ‘hearing’ learner!
If you think you’re a hearing learner, you might want to try:
• Singing the words of the poem or story you have to remember to the tune of your favourite song
• If you have to remember a list of history dates, you could get a friend to work with you and say the first one out loud, then they say the one you said and add one of their own, then you have to remember your first one, your friend’s one and add a third. Keep going and make the list as long as you can before one of you forgets a date!
GROUP 3: ‘DOING’ LEARNERS
These people learn by doing a practical task, then remembering the way it felt or the way their body moved. Do you know someone who is really good at dancing? They can probably remember the order of the moves in the dance because they’ve practiced lots and lots of times and their body now seems to do it without them having to think.
If you think you’re a doing learner, you might want to try:
• Make up a story to link together different things that you have to remember and act it out
• Doing your schoolwork while doing another one of your chores. For example, you could try counting up your times tables first thing in the morning while getting dressed. You might then find that every time you get dressed, you remember the times tables!
• Ask your teacher to set you problems you can work out, rather than just reading from a book. You’ll probably remember what you did better, but make sure you know why you are doing the problem and ask your teacher to check the answer.
Everybody learns differently. Although we split these types of learning into three groups, everybody is really a mix of all three groups: you might learn poems best by seeing the words but learn times tables best by hearing your teacher read them out in a hearing learning style. No one way is better than the other, but it’s important to know that you can do schoolwork in a number of different ways and that you try out a few. If you find a way that really helps you, you can learn things really efficiently. This is important so that you get as much education as possible in the time that you have in school. Education is important because it prepares us for our future lives and careers.