‘Learning styles’ is a concept which attempts to describe the methods by which people gain information about their environment. People can learn through seeing (visually), hearing (auditorily), and/or through touching or manipulating an object (kinesthetically or ‘hands-on’ learning). For example, looking at a picture book or reading a textbook involves learning through vision; listening to a lecture live or on tape involves learning through hearing; and pressing buttons to determine how to operate a VCR involves learning kinesthetically.
Generally, most people learn using two to three learning styles. Interestingly, people can assess their own interests and lifestyle to determine the ways in which they obtain much of their information about their environment. In my case, when I read a book, I can easily understand the text. In contrast, it is difficult for me to listen to an audiotape recording of that book — I just cannot follow the story line. Thus, I am a strong visual learner, and a moderate, possibly poor, auditory learner. As far as kinesthetic learning, I am very good at taking apart objects to learn how an object works, such as a vacuum cleaner or a computer.
One’s learning style may affect how well a person performs in an educational setting, especially from junior high on through college. Schools usually require both auditory learning (i.e., listening to a teacher) and visual learning (i.e., reading a textbook). If one is poor at one of these two ways of learning sources, he/she will likely depend mostly on his/her strength (e.g., a visual learner may study the textbook rather than rely on the lecture content). Using this logic, if one is poor at both visual and auditory learning, he/she may have difficulty in school. Furthermore, one’s learning style may be associated with one’s occupation. For example, those individuals who are kinesthetic learners may tend to have occupations involving their hands, such as shelf stockers, mechanics, surgeons, or sculptors. Visual learners may tend to have occupations which involve processing visual information, such as data processors, artists, architects, or manufacturing part sorters. Moreover, auditory learners may tend to have jobs which involve processing auditory information, such as sales people, judges, musicians, 9-1-1 operators, and waiters/waitresses.
Based on my experience as well as those of my colleagues, it appears that auti