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Understanding Your Student’s Learning Style Essay

All children have unique learning styles. Students gain strong benefits when their teachers and Learning Coaches recognize their strengths and weaknesses as learners. Howard Gardner, a psychologist and professor of neuroscience at Harvard, developed one theory in 1983. Gardner defines “intelligence” not as an IQ but, rather, as the skills that enable anyone to gain new knowledge and solve problems.

Gardner proposed that there are several different types of intelligences, or learning styles.

1.Verbal-Linguistic (Word Smart) – People who possess this learning style learn best through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Verbal students absorb information by engaging with reading materials and by discussing and debating ideas.

2.Logical-Mathematical (Logic Smart) – Those who exhibit this type of intelligence learn by classifying, categorizing, and thinking abstractly about patterns, relationships, and numbers. 3.Visual-Spatial (Picture Smart) – These people learn best by drawing or visualizing things using the mind’s eye. Visual people learn the most from pictures, diagrams, and other visual aids.

4.Auditory-Musical (Music Smart) – Students who are music smart learn using rhythm or melody, especially by singing or listening to music.

5.Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart) – Body-smart individuals learn best through touch and movement. These people are best at processing information through the body. Sometimes kinesthetic learners work best standing up and moving rather than sitting still.

6.Interpersonal (People Smart) – Those who are people smart learn through relating to others by sharing, comparing, and cooperating. Interpersonal learners can make excellent group leaders and team players.

7.Intrapersonal (Self Smart) – Intrapersonal-intelligent people learn best by working alone and setting individual goals. Intrapersonal learners are not necessarily shy; they are independent and organized. 8.Naturalistic (Nature Smart) – Naturalistics learn by working with nature. Naturalistic students enjoy learning about living things and natural events. They may excel in the sciences and be very passionate about environmental issues. Combinations of the different types of intelligence abound. A hiker fascinated by birdsongs might have strong auditory-musical and naturalistic intelligences, supplemented by bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. The neighbor skilled in solving puzzles and discerning patterns may combine logical-mathematical intelligence with visual-spatial intelligence.


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