Learning Styles and How Your Ministry Can Use Them to Enhance Your Training

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God designed people to learn in so many unique and wonderful ways. You might have seen a child shine when they listen to a book versus reading it. Or maybe they picked up math more quickly when they could use their hands instead of only writing down their work.

Those experiences are examples of learning styles at work.

Learning in person limits learning styles

The concept of learning styles, that people learn best in different ways, began in the 1970s and has been a point of contention for decades. While many studies have shown that children tend to enjoy learning in different ways, many more studies have debunked the myth that children only learn one way or another way.

In reality, learning styles change from situation to situation. Every child can learn in every style, but some styles may be more enjoyable for learning than others. And in some situations or subjects, the student’s learning styles may change.

That’s because learning styles are fluid and can change based on subject, environment, teacher, and the student’s own mood or disposition.

Think about it like appetite. You may generally prefer steak, but sometimes you want pizza. And sometimes you will eat broccoli with a smile! (Maybe wishful thinking, but butter works wonders…)

Learning together is called social learning

We’re going to look at all 7 learning styles. It’s helpful to know them. However, remember that these are interchangeable for the same person. Just like you vary and change your diet from day to day, you should be working to keep your student’s learning styles varied, too. They should be approached more like a nutritious diet rather than a one-style-fits-all for how your student must learn at all times.

One more thing…we don’t consider anyone to be a certain type of learner. We don’t refer to “Auditory Learners” as if there is a person who only learns through listening. We refer to “Auditory Learning” as a style of learning that every person can experience and enjoy, but some people enjoy more and find more success with.

The Seven Learning Styles

Visual Spatial Learning

Visual learning is the experience of learning through visual observation. Visual aids help with this type of learning. For example, diagrams, videos, whiteboards, and illustrations can aid in visual spatial learning.

Aural Auditory Learning

Auditory learning happens when someone learns through listening. This can be listening to a lecture or verbal presentation, an audiobook or book read aloud, or to music.

Verbal Linguistic Learning

Verbal learning happens when someone learns via the spoken or written word. This includes spoken lectures, narrated stories or parables, as well as written information or instructions.

Physical Kinesthetic Learning

Kinesthetic learning is experienced through moving the body. This type of learning can happen through direct manipulation of physical items like when doing a science experiment. It can also happen through dance, tinkering, doing math with fingers and objects, or playing a physical game.

Logical Mathematical Learning

Logical learning takes place for students when reasoning and numbers are present. Of course, most Math concepts appeal to logical learning experiences, but many Science, English, and even Social Studies topics lean on logic to help students learn new things.

Social Interpersonal Learning

Social learning happens when students learn together with other students. Students who excel at social learning love group projects, discussions, brainstorming, and sharing ideas.

Solitary Intrapersonal Learning

Solitary learning is the opposite of social learning. It happens alone, through self-study. Social learning and solitary learning are often paired together for incredible results. Preparing alone for their part in a group project is a classic example of solitary and social learning working together.

Scott Magdalein

Scott is the founder of ServeHQ and has over a decade of experience as an Executive Pastor, Worship Pastor, and College Pastor. You can chat with him directly using the widget at the bottom of this page.

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