Childhood Education: Understanding The Eight Different Learning Styles

Parents and teachers want children to excel at school and learn effectively. However, what do we do when they’re having trouble academically? We make the mistake of pushing them harder or immediately assuming something is wrong. Before we take the next step into helping our children improve at school, let’s examine their weaknesses and their strengths in learning. 

Learning Styles: An Overview

Traditionally (and to this day), the majority of the school system uses one standard learning style: linguistic and logical learning. Recently, as more methods are discovered, new ways have been introduced and are slowly improving the student’s experience at school. Here are the eight learning styles your child may have and how to identify them. 

The Linguistic Learner

Linguistic learning is one of the most common forms, and it is widely used among all educational institutions. This style consists of writing, reading, and verbal forms, such as through conversation or listening to speech. Some linguistic professions include

  • Teacher 
  • Writer
  • Orator
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Interpreter

The Naturalist

A naturalist learner is more hands-on and prefers to learn and experience nature. This style is associated with the outdoors and around natural elements, or through experiments and observation. Often they are most interested in subjects like science. Some naturalist professions are science and environment-related, including:

  • Astronomer
  • Biologist
  • Chef
  • Veterinarian
  • Nature photographer

The Musical or Rhythmic Learner

Not only do musically intelligent people pick up on music and play it with ease, but some learn better with some form of music. It is often associated with fidgeting: humming, whistling, toe-tapping, tapping their pencil, wiggling, or listening to music in the background. Instead of seeing music as a distraction, they see it as a tool to help them think.

Musical learners are more likely to excel in areas involving music. These professions are (but not limited to):

  • Music teacher, therapist, or producer
  • Choir director
  • Singer or dancer
  • Musician or songwriter
  • Speech pathologist
  • Sound or recording engineer

The Kinesthetic Learner

Most children cannot stay still, but what if that’s how they learn? Also known as the body or tactile learning, this style is suitable for those who are physically intelligent. They excel in areas such as sports or other athletic feats. Dancing as well, but that goes hand-in-hand with musical learning. The ideal career for kinesthetic learners are:

  • Athlete
  • Dancer or choreographer
  • Mechanic
  • Actor / Actress
  • Physical therapist
  • Surgeon
  • Firefighter
  • Paramedic

The Visual or Spatial Learner

Visual or spatial learners learn best with visual aids such as diagrams, pictures, and graphs. They are also creative and able to envision what isn’t there yet but can create a plan to bring it to life. 

They are essential in the IT industry because they conceptualize more info in computers and programming through graphical or visual representations of components that can’t be seen. Careers for visual or spatial learners often fall in these categories:

  • Creative outlets such as art, film, interior decor or fashion design
  • Navigation (sailor, driver, or pilot)
  • Architecture
  • Engineering 

The Logical or Mathematical Learner

Many STEM areas favor logical-mathematical learners. In this style, students are great with numbers and learn better through numbers, patterns, formulas, or organization skills. Logical-mathematical learners are more drawn to professions that revolve around:

  • Computers
  • Finance
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Research

The Interpersonal Learner

Interpersonal learners prefer to work with others, and they learn by being social and sharing experiences. They make great leaders as well as team players, and can often be found in fields such as:

  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Social sciences
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Coaching or counseling

The Intrapersonal Learner

On the other hand, your child may learn better by working alone and set individual goals. They are often introverted (but not always), and they are more motivated by internal forces rather than external forces such as their peers or supervision. 

They are more comfortable being their own boss and love to solve problems and be creative on their own. Some careers for intrapersonal learners are:

  • Psychologist
  • Philosopher
  • Writer
  • Career counselor
  • Consultant
  • Criminologist
  • Personal counselor
  • Program planner
  • Small business owner or entrepreneur

Discovering Your Child’s Learning Language

It’s important to note that your child’s learning language isn’t set in stone. They are still developing and may change with time. It is also possible that they may portray two or more learning styles. Talk with their teachers and other specialists to map out the best plan for your child’s school experience. 

David van der Ende is a full-time blogger and part-time graphic design enthusiast. He loves to write about a broad range of topics, but his professional background in both legal and finance drives him to write on these two subjects most frequently.