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Learning Styles: Not Just for Students

We often think of learning styles as a way to understand our students, but it’s also a great way to learn more about your approach to teaching. Do you walk around the classroom or stay in one place during direct instruction? Do you always include diagrams in your explanations? Do you focus on the small details or the big picture when reviewing content? Just as learning styles impact how our students engage with and acquire knowledge, they can also impact the way we teach.

The beginning of the school year is a great time to take stock of how your learning style impacts your teaching, so you can identify any hidden instructional biases you may be bringing to the classroom. We suggest starting by taking this quiz to identify what your learning style is. Next take some time to reflect on if you tend to teach in your own style. Finally, brainstorm ways you can start to infuse your practice with other strategies across your non-preferred learning style.

Below you will find a few examples of quick strategies for each learning style:
Visual (spatial): bring in videos, photos, diagrams into your instruction

Aural (auditory-musical): teach new concepts with mnemonics, songs, and poems

Verbal (linguistic): always keep written notes handy for any direct teaching

Physical (kinesthetic): ask students to act out key events (history/ELA) or concepts/formulas (STEM)

Logical (mathematical): break down complex concepts into clear steps or procedures

Social (interpersonal) and solitary (intrapersonal): mix-up learning time with individual, small, and large group activities

For more information about learning styles, check out our course Differentiating Instruction in Your Classroom.

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