Styles of Learning

The LEARNING STYLES are all those mental and physiological characteristics by which the students perceive and interact within the learning processes, the following article is a complete guide who explains the different styles from learning.


As professors, we know that the needs of the students are different, is for that reason that for 70 years the concept of €œlearning€ as so it changed radically.

Soon the €œstyles arose from learning€ as also the €œstrategies of learning€ as models to follow for a correct and better option at the time of passing on and catching knowledge.

The present article using cheap web hosting tries to be one complete guide for all those that we wished to deepen in the exciting world of education.

Styles of learning

Although at the moment many definitions of learning styles exist, we are going away to be with the definition of Keefe that we create is the one that better explains this question:

€œThe Styles of Learning are the mental, physiological and affective characteristics, that are the indicators, of how the students perceive, interact and respond to different atmospheres from the learning. €œ

When the professors we want to put in practice all the theoretical part who we know, the theory and the practice usually become the enemy majors that all professor knows. We know that each student is a world, and that each situation requires of a different approach at the time of shaping the knowledge. The students, in addition to using their mental and metacognitivas abilities, must of being able also to know how to hierarchize, to organize and to prioritize their learning.

But we do not have to interpret the different techniques that use each person at the time of learning as LEARNING STYLES, those techniques or learning strategies that follow the individuals at the time of learning, usually are strategies that have been acquiring (sometimes until by they themselves) sometimes with minor or major effectiveness.

Some professors defend the idea of the preferences of learning styles more than the own styles of the learning, for example some people prefer to learn with images, others just by text, others prefer in group etc€¦ It is for that reason that some styles can not be the adapted ones for certain people. The systemic form to learn, is because a mixture of theory and practice following each student.

Types of learning styles

When we spoke of types of learning styles, a definition that we also like especially, would be the one that becomes mention in the book €œDunn and Dunn Learning Style Inventory €œ.

€œThe learning style could be considered as the way in which an apprentice begins to concentrate himself on a new and difficult information, he treats it and he retains it€.

Each person learns differently, speed, curiosity and even interest that others. There are people who use as more important routes of learning: hearing, other visually other both, and a another mixture of multiple factors. The learning, is a knowledge of each situation, each person and each surroundings that we can be.

We see the different types from learning styles.

The 5 main styles of learning

The GREAT SYSTEMS where we could include the learning styles would be the following:

  • The system of visual representation: preference by visual contact. They are not very good with texts, but they learn better seeing images, videos, etc€¦ Usually they are good students drawing what they are learning, that is to say, visual memory. Sometimes we can see that they realise symbols in its notes, had indeed to that they feel an extra ground visual help in its form to learn. For this type of students whom they have more developed this style, a way to learn very effective is with educative videos that exist nowadays in Internet, without a doubt they themselves will end up being more comfortable.
  • The auditory system of representation: preference by auditory contact, emphasizes to have a preference of learning based on listening. For example, the debates expensive to face where them force to be listened to, is very beneficial situations for this type of students with this style of predominant learning. Also many students take advantage of this style to record their classes and soon to listen to them calmly. Usually they have a developed auditory memory more.
  • The kinest©sico system of representation: preference to interact with the content. For example the laboratory classes are the ideals for these people. Another example would be to learn to write with a keyboard, the people with this learning learn better if they interact with the content. They need to feel the learning. This is shelp that these people are slower learning, nevertheless is not thus absolutely, these people when they learn, the content is engraving of much more deep form and possibly never it forgets to them.
  • The system of reading and writing: preference to read, to write notes, its way of learning is based on reading texts, pamphlets, long lists of details, etc€¦
  • The multimodal system: It is a style that is based on having several predominant styles, much people owns this type of style that usually include some characteristics of each, especially do not emphasize by no.

The styles by personal characteristics

According to Catalina Alonso, we can divide the styles in great personal characteristics:

  • Active style: the people who use an active style improvise, are active, participating, protagonists, creative, etc€¦ Is students who become jumbled in new experiences, are not scared to the new thing that they are going to learn and they stay with a opened, enthusiastic and very active attitude. They lie down to act first and to think later.
  • Reflective style: the people who use this style are average, analytical, observant, patient, prudent, etc€¦ These students lie down to being very analytical, think (sometimes in excess) about multitude of possible solutions, observe each situation of different angles and meditate what would be the best option.
  • Theoretical style: the people who use this style are methodical, logical, critics, disciplined, thinking, etc€¦ These students base their learning on thinking of sequential form and step by step, they are very methodical.
  • Pragmatic style: the people who use this style are experimental, realistic, effective, objective, very concrete on their tasks, etc€¦ These students base their learning trying ideas and forms, comparing thesis and coverall being based on the greater possible reality, leaving of side abstract conclusions.

The styles by characteristics

They would be possible to be included in characteristics of learning styles:

  • Mental characteristics: this type of characteristics talks about to the form in which the students structure the contents, process the data, treat the information, etc€¦
  • Affective characteristics: one talks about to those characteristics related to the motivation, the expectations that each student has with itself and so she surrounds to him, its attitude generally to learn, etc€¦
  • Physiological characteristics: related to IT SAW it of the student, his bioritmo, tendencies, etc€¦
learning styles

The styles by dimensions

According to Felder and Silverman we can divide the styles of learning in different dimensions related to the personal characteristics from each person:

  • Sensorial: They are people who lie down to being very practical, likes to solve situations and problems with established procedures good. They move away of subjects that are not based on the reality, love the experimentation generally. For example, if we want to teach to a boy what is the globalisation, understands it far better if they are immersed in her, on a daily basis sees it in TV etc€¦
  • Intuitive: They are people whom they do not like the memorization or repetitive calculations, work well with abstract subjects and they like to discover new and different visions on certain subjects.
  • Lines of vision: At the time of learning, they prefer clearly that the information arrives through diagrams, images, etc€¦.
  • Verbals: They are people who remember and learn better if the information is heard or written.
  • Assets: Usually they retain better the information if the subject at issue is debated, is applied or if the same explains another person.
  • Reflexives: Usually they learn reflecting and thinking deeply on something, they need that the information pass by different filters from his thought before giving them by valid definitively.
  • Sequential: These people step by step learn of way, for sequence, with subjects related some to others.
  • Global: They learn very quickly, they visualize all the content of very objective form and very fast coverall. The learning structures it in €œan all€ very general one, learning the contents very fast.

The styles by personal and environmental preferences

  • By social preferences: some prefer to learn single, slightly accompanied others, others in group, etc€¦ usually depend on their personality.
  • By environmental preferences: some prefer something of sound, quiet, with much light, little light, heat, cold, etc€¦
  • By emotional preferences: some prefer to learn under pressure, others prefer to learn voluntarily, others prefer very motivated, etc€¦
  • By preferences of the information processing:

Left right hemisphere/
Verbal lines of vision/
Thoughtful assets/

  • By personality:

Extroverted introverts/
Touching rationals/

The styles by social interaction

Basing us on the theories of development of Kohlber, each person is a world, and its form to be related to the others also is it. It is for that reason that the subjects that are learning, in many occasions are going to be in favor conditional of the people who also exist in class and by its personality and forms to act against the others. The learning of a person can be different following the social roll or type of interaction that person feels. Some people feel uncomfortable with other companions, others feel a desire of competition, others can undergo all type of behaviors that can affect to their learning.

We are going to analyze the different styles and situations from people related to the social interaction.

  • Competitive. They learn the material to feel better than the others. Their companions and friendly compete with to see who obtains the best qualification. They lie down to catch the attention of the professor, need to feel like protagonists.
  • Evasive. It possibly happens in students who are not interested in a content in particular, or in all the course. Usually he does not participate with the professor, nor either with his friendly. They do not feel what they are learning as that they must do, do not feel a motivation.
  • Collaborative. Typical of people who want to share ideas and knowledge. They cooperate so much with teachers as with his own companions, they feel the learning as something interesting and try that their companions feel just like they. They motivate themselves among them.
  • Employee. They see the professors and to his companions as a support, they need to authority figures so that they tell them what must do. They need that the professor guides to them constantly in each step that they must give.
  • Independent. They are very independent, although they continue trusting his professors and companions, even so its thought is much more important that the one of the others, needs to learn as they want. The paradigm is they themselves.

The social interaction is because a very important relation between the student and the social atmosphere that surrounds to him, getting to influence in many cases of direct way in the yield of each student.

Information processing

The human brain is a matchless machine, although computers exist at the moment and machines that realise thousands of calculations per second, our brain is able to also realise million operations per second (almost all unvoluntarily) but with great differences.

We own trillions of neurons that are in charge of all type of tasks, between which: the learning.

We were then before one of most perfect works of the nature at the time of learning, interacting, to create, etc€¦ the information processing even nowadays, continues having great mysteries.

For Lachman and Butterfield, the information processing is based on a series of few operations, such as to codify, to compare, to locate, to store etc€¦ A fundamental assumption of the information processing says us that everything can be reduced to the decomposition of mental processes of any informative fact at a simpler and specific level.

Many agree in that the comparison with computers and dedicated server would be a form to explain the difference and the similarity of the information processing. Nevertheless when we tried that a machine acts WITHOUT a PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE, here takes place the great difference between a human and a machine. The humans we can act without a previous knowledge, without instructions, something that a machine no.

The characteristics of the quadrants of Ned Herrmann

If we were based on the model of Ned Herrmann, this it indicates that our brain is divided in four quadrants that are resulting of the interweaving of the left and right hemisphere.

The four quadrants have different forms to think, to operate, to create, to learn. This model tries to explain as these quadrants act of direct way in the learning styles, causing that each zone of our brain acts of a certain way.

  • Cortical left: It is the logical, analytical part, the cerebral part in charge to analyze the facts. People with tendency to this quadrant are critics, individualists, skeptics, give much value him to the clarity. They prefer to know the law, before happening to the experimentation, usually they have problems with the informal experiences, everything must be presented under a pr¡citico and logical foundation.
  • Left L­mbico: It is the organizational part, the one that create and generate sequences, plans, etc€¦ People with tendency to this quadrant are introverts, meticulous, preservative, etc€¦ They need that everything has an excessive order, are incapable to improvise, everything must follow a line.
  • Right L­mbico: It is the communicative part of the brain, the affective one. People with tendency to this quadrant they are more extroverted, work with feelings, likes to listen and to ask, usually they are not individual. They move by the intention of the pleasure. They appreciate much to learn outside class, or by didactic visits or to see schellostic videos, etc€¦ They need stimuli to increase his interest.
  • Cortical straight: It is the part that acts in the strategy, the integrating part. People with tendency to this quadrant usually are investigators, with a vision, de futuro creative. They need to take very few notes since its vision is over which it is the own class. They like the originality, the ingenious thing, and hate all monotonous and the repetitive one.


Within the forms and styles of learning we recommended a series of models and styles that we have been compiling and that we are sure that will help you in the thematic one:

€“ Types of learning.

€“ Styles of learning of Kolb.

€“ Test of learning styles.

€“ Theories of the learning.


The content set out here has been compiled of several sources, between which they emphasize those that we showed next:

Hunt (1979), in Chevrier J.

Catalina Alonso (1995). The Styles of Learning: Procedures of diagnosis and improvement.

Dunn, R., Dunn, K. And Price (1985) Learning Style Inventory.

Keefe James (1988). Learning Profiles of Learning: examiner manual. Document that can help to understand better all the related one us to the learning.

Article UNED of great interest that we recommended related to the learning where different points of view are abacarcan.

Cerebral quadrants of Herrman.

Alonso, C.M.; Gallego, D.J. and Honey, P. (1994). The learning styles: What are. How to diagnose them. How to improve the own style of learning.

Timoteo Gonz¡lez Gil

Timoteo has studies in psychology and teaching, reason why it has collaborated with different social projects from education and psychology. He has developed his work especially in Galicia (Spain).
At the moment he writes in the Web that you are reading (€œStyles of Learning€) with the purpose of to disclose the knowledge acquired during his time of study.