Struggling to learn can be an extremely frustrating obstacle. In a society that emphasizes a single, mainstream way of measuring education, fitting outside this norm can make both children and adults feel “slow” or “stupid”. This is absolutely not the case at all, and it’s unfortunate that so many people are made to feel this way throughout their life. Rather than being bad at learning, they may simply have a style that’s different to the methods used in schools or institutions. There are multiple styles of learning and each person will flourish best with the one that fits how their mind functions the best.
Visual. Visual learners prefer to use images, pictures and spatial reference in order to pick up a new concept. Colour and layout is very important, so you might want to spend time creating notes that tell a visual story, such as mind maps. Colour can also be used to group ideas by topic, or to highlight links between concepts.
Aural. Aural learners learn through their ears, with sound, rhyme and music. Mnemonics and rhymes often work best when set to a well-known jingle or song, and you can associate music with your study time for better results.
Linguistic. Linguistic learners prefer learning through words, such as speaking and writing. Reading aloud can be a good way to make words sink in better, and explaining a concept to someone who isn’t familiar with it can also be a good way to reinforce the ideas in your head. Role-plays with others can also help for learning exchanges such as sales or calls.
Kinesthetic. Those who learn kinesthetically prefer to use the body, hands and sense of touch. Using physical objects as well as drawing diagrams can both be useful activities. Focusing on feelings an sensations involved in the learning concepts is also often effective.
Logical. If you’re a logical learner, you like to know the reasoning and logic behind a certain concept or idea before you’re able to understand it. Try to understand the why behind new content and skills, and use lists to help sort and order key points in a way that makes sense to you.
Solitary/Social. These are two opposite sides of the same coin – a social learner does best when working with others, and social bonds and experiences help strengthen the learning they achieve. Contrastingly, solitary learners prefer to work on their own, and often their learning goals are part of their personal values. Finding personal interest in the study is often very important.
If you’ve found learning difficult in the past, it could simply be that you’ve been pushed into using the wrong style. Use the methods that come naturally for you for the best and least stressful results.