Recent research has expanded the types of learners to 8 general categories:
1. Kinaesthetic- learn by doing
2. Visual- learn by diagrams, pictures, and graphs.
3. Naturalist- learn best by being outside and experimenting and observing things that illustrate what they’re learning.
4. Logical- learn by understanding relationships and patterns between information
5. Interpersonal- learn through relating to others and working for a team
6. Intrapersonal- learn by working alone
7. Auditory- learn by listening
8. Reading/ Writing- learn by writing
Research suggests that this is not a flawless model- there can’t possibly be only eight kinds of learner- no way can the diversity of human nature be put neatly into just eight boxes. BUT that doesn’t mean that learning what kind of learner you are has no merit. I find that most often, people are a mix of two or three and knowing which ones describe you best – and which study methods, personality traits, career paths, and challenges come with each- can really help you make your studying much more effective.
A Deeper Look at Each ‘Type’
Kinaesthetic: These people learn best by interacting with physical objects, ideally the ones they’re learning about, or by moving around while they learn. These learners often end up in careers such as carpentry, the arts, surgery, or physical therapy because all of these involve more practical work than theoretical learning, or at least have a strong practical element.
Visual: These learners work best with pictures, diagrams, graphs, and colour, which help them to take in information and connect it to something tangible. Mind maps and infographics work wonders for memorizing lesson content.
Naturalist: These learners love to experience what they’re learning, observe the principles in the world around them, and prove information from a textbook by conducting experiments.
Logical: These learners often find their skills are mathematical because they think best with numbers, data, and enjoy finding patterns in information.
Interpersonal: Learning through stories, conversation, and teamwork is best for these types of learners. The more collaboration the better.
Intrapersonal: These are the opposite of Interpersonal learners; they love to be alone and have time and space to work at their own pace, set their own goals, and work beholden to no one. Often they can be quite introverted but not always.
Auditory: These learners work best with music in the background, putting information into songs, or making connections between songs and information. They often struggle to learn in silence and can find fiddling with things that make a noise like pens or tapping their fingers in a rhythm that helps them to take in information.
Linguistic: These learners work best by reading, writing notes, essays, and rewording content, listening, or speaking. The more they use words to process what they’re learning, the better they tend to understand it.