More styles of learning

Anthony Gregorc's Mind Styles Model

Gregorc’s (1982) styles of learning model is similar to Kolb’s, except that the two dimensions rate:


perception from abstract to concrete
and ordering from sequential to random.

The final classification of the learner is into one of four states, again similar to Kolb, using the Gregorc Style Delineator. (a self-scoring written instrument that elicits responses to a set of 40 specific words.)

Scoring the responses will give values for a model with two axes: a "perceptual space duality," concrete vs. abstract, and an "ordering duality," sequential vs. random[5] The resulting quadrants are the "styles":
• Concrete Sequential
• Concrete Random
• Abstract Sequential
• Abstract Random

No one is a "pure" style. Each of us have a unique combination of natural strengths and abilities

more styles of learning information here



Flemmings VARK Model

One of the most common and widely-used categorizations of the various styles of learning is Fleming's VARK model which expanded upon earlier NLP VAK models:
1. visual learners;
2. auditory learners;
3. reading/writing-preference learners;
4. kinesthetic learners or tactile learners[1].
Fleming claimed that visual learners have a preference for seeing (think in pictures; visual aids such as overhead slides, diagrams, handouts, etc).

Auditory learners best learn through listening (lectures, discussions, tapes, etc).

Read write learners have a distinct preference for the written word whilst others prefer diagrams and charts

Tactile/kinaesthetic learners prefer to learn via experience—moving, touching, and doing (active exploration of the world; science projects; experiments, etc).

One proviso should be made about the VARK inventory.
It is, technically, not a learning styles questionnaire, as it provides feedback only on one's preferred modes for communicating.
The use of learning strategies that are aligned with a modality preferences is also likely to lead to greater persistence in learning and a deeper more thoughtful approach.


Its use in education allows teachers to prepare classes that address each of these areas. Students can also use the model to identify their learning style and maximize their educational experience by focusing on what benefits them the most.

Not everyone agrees with this theory. For a different perspective chack out this video from Professor Daniel Willingham from the University of Virginia

More information on the Vark model here

Hybrid Model

Jackson designed the styles of learning Hybrid Model of Learning in Personality, which argues that there is a common biological basis to positive and negative outcomes within the workplace, education and the general community.

It is called a hybrid model because, it combines biological theories of personality with socio-cognitive and experiential mechanisms of learning. In that sense it is quite different from other theories of learning mentioned here.

Jackson argues that 'Sensation Seeking' is an instinctive biological drive, which provides the need to explore the environment. Jackson specifically argues that Sensation Seeking is neither positive nor negative, but it supplies the basic drive that has to be present for potential learning. For learning to be truly effective, sensation seeking has to be combine with other sophisticated types of thinking which are split into the following:


Goal Oriented Achiever – a mastery or learning goal orientation which allocates cognitive resources towards the achievement of difficult goals such that the more cognitive effort we put into a task then the more likely it is that we will succeed.
Conscientious Achiever – providing responsibility, planning and perseverance
Deep Learning Achiever – a deep understanding and knowledge about problems and systems thinking as opposed to simply tackling the surface issues
Emotionally Intelligent Achiever – providing rationality and emotionally independent thinking

The hybrid model differs from other styles of learning. According to Jackson benefits of The Hybrid Model include: :
• provides a measure of learning with known reliability, validity and a good underlying measurement model compared with many widely used measures of learning which are of dubious value
• Predicts functional and dysfunctional performance (useful in selection and assessment, training, education, clinical, offender management, community)
• Aims to provide a trajectory of likely success and provides feedback about how to make that trajectory even more successful. Most existing models of personality and learning are simply oriented towards telling people what they know already

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Gardners multiple intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. We can consider these intelligencies to be styles of learning.

These intelligences are:
Linguistic intelligence ("word smart"):
Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
Musical intelligence ("music smart")
Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")

One of the most remarkable features of the theory of multiple intelligences is how it provides eight different potential pathways to learning.

If a teacher is having difficulty reaching a student in the more traditional linguistic or logical ways of instruction, the theory of multiple intelligences suggests several other ways in which the material might be presented to facilitate effective learning.

You don’t have to learn something in all eight ways, just see what the possibilities are, and what might work for you best.

The theory of multiple intelligences is interesting as it promotes a broader thinking approach to learning compared to our normal linguistic logic based approaches.

It also potentially encourages more learning by allowing some learners to understand and appreciate their styles of learning strengths



For more information on Multiple Intelligences click here

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