Introduction to learning and teaching styles and methods

The underpinning concepts:

Aims of the session

Model 1: 4 Styles

Visual/Verbal Learning Style

The learner learns best when information is presented visually and in a written language format. In a classroom setting, the learner benefits from instructors who use the blackboard (or overhead projector) to list the essential points of a lecture, or who provide them with an outline to follow along with during lecture. They benefit from information obtained from textbooks and class notes. They tend to like to study on their own in a quiet room. They often see information "in their mind's eye" when they are trying to remember something.

Visual/Nonverbal Learning Style

The learner learns best when information is presented visually and in a picture or design format. In a classroom setting, they benefit from instructors who use visual aids such as film, video, maps and charts. They benefit from information obtained from the pictures and diagrams in textbooks. They tend to like to work in a quiet room and may not like to work in study groups. When trying to remember something, they can often visualize a picture of it in their mind. They may have an artistic side that enjoys activities having to do with visual art and design.

Tactile/Kinesthetic Learning Style

The learner learns best when physically engaged in a "hands on" activity. In the classroom, they benefit from a lab setting where they can manipulate materials to learn new information. They learn best when they can be physically active in the learning environment. They benefit from instructors who encourage in-class demonstrations, "hands on" student learning experiences, and field work outside the classroom.

The Auditory/Verbal Learning Style

The learner learns best when information is presented auditory in an oral language format. In a classroom setting, they benefit from listening to lecture and participating in group discussions. They also benefit from obtaining information from audio tape. When trying to remember something, they can often "hear" the way someone told them the information, or the way they previously repeated it out loud. They learn best when interacting with others in a listening/speaking exchange .

Visual/Verbal Learning Style - Suggested approaches

Visual/Nonverbal Learning Style - Suggested approaches

Tactile/Kinaesthetic Learning Style - Suggested approaches

The Auditory/Verbal Learning Style - Suggested approaches

Model 2: Honey and Mumford’s learning cycle and learning styles

Model 3: Kolb’s learning cycle

Model 4: McCarthy’s 4MAT system

The four learning styles identified by McCarthy are:

  1. Type 1: Innovative Learners are primarily interested in personal meaning. They need to have reasons for learning--ideally, reasons that connect new information with personal experience and establish that information's usefulness in daily life. Some of the many instructional modes effective with this learner type are cooperative learning, brainstorming, and integration of content areas (e.g., science with social studies, writing with the arts, etc.).
  2. Type 2: Analytic Learners are primarily interested in acquiring facts in order to deepen their understanding of concepts and processes. They are capable of learning effectively from lectures, and enjoy independent research, analysis of data, and hearing what "the experts" have to say.
  3. Type 3: Common Sense Learners are primarily interested in how things work; they want to "get in and try it." Concrete, experiential learning activities work best for them--using manipulatives, hands-on tasks, kinesthetic experience, etc.
  4. Type 4: Dynamic Learners are primarily interested in self-directed discovery. They rely heavily on their own intuition, and seek to teach both themselves and others. Any type of independent study is effective for these learners. They also enjoy simulations, role play, and games.

Model 5: Gardner [1993] - Multiple Intelligences

Multiple intelligences

Gardner [1993] suggests that each individual has several distinct areas of intelligence:

Gardner believes that an individual’s abilities will differ in each area as will their learning style.


Try the following diagnostic test at…

The Learner’s and Teacher’s contribution to the learning process

What do learners contribute to the learning process?

How can teachers/lecturers help the learner?

Expanding the t & l repertoire through unconvergence……..


teaching is:
  • a joint activity
  • guiding the conversation
  • helping joint constructions to form
  • enacting community values
learning is:
  • social
  • assisted performance
  • interactive and co-constructive
  • self regulation amongst the group
  • evaluating shared values


teaching is:
  • setting challenging tasks
  • observing and interviewing
  • supporting learners’ activities
  • creating dissonance
  • helping learners to reconsider
learning is:
  • personal understanding
  • interpreting and selecting
  •  active
  • constructive
  • reviewing and integrating


teaching is:
  • giving accurate information
  • sequential
  • direct
  • structuring the environment
  • rewarding performance
learning is:
  • correct performance
  • tasks
  • cumulative
  • receptive
  • from the outside in
  • practising and performing


teaching is:
  • explicating expertise
  • modelling strategies
  • supporting and assisting reflection
  • application across concepts
  • providing criteria for evaluation
learning is:
  • mindful engagement
  • strategic management of learning tasks
  • reflection and self monitoring
  • adapting, applying and transferring knowledge
  • self evaluating