Different Learning Types – Guide For First Time Teachers

Here’s a brief overview to give you an idea of how Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences breaks down. You’ll want to keep each of these learning types in mind as you create your lesson plans. You don’t want to end up teaching to a handful of students in your class. You’ll want to involve everyone, and chances are you’ll have each learning type in your classroom if you have 20 or more students.

Logical/Mathematical – You’ll want to include complex exercises in reasoning for these students to solve. They really like dissecting a problem and enjoy solving problems with little help from you.

Musical/Rhythmical – Try to use rhymes and songs if you can squeeze it in to a topic. This type of learner really like to groove to the beat so to speak. Some classes might be harder to fit in music and rhyme than others.

Bodily/Kinesthetic – These types of students crave motion. If you have your class sitting at their desk scribbling down notes while you lecture, they will be the ones that seem to have ants in their pants. Be sure to include some activities that get your students out of their seats and get the blood flowing as you learn with action.

Verbal/Linguistic – They love word games and will pay close attention to your voice and how you deliver your classes. They might not even need to take notes, as your voice is etched into their memory. If you see that they take skimpy notes but score well on tests, don’t force them to take more notes, as this will distract them from listening.

Visual/Spatial – You can spot this student because they’ll roll their eyes up when they try to remember something. What they are doing is trying to get into their visual memory data banks and retrieve the information. They may not take too many notes either, and you shouldn’t push them to, because they are taking it all in just by watching and remembering. Don’t confuse a lazy student that doesn’t take notes with a visual learner.

Intrapersonal – They’re not usually very outgoing, and are rarely a behavior problem. You’ll love having these students in your class because they’ll sit quietly and take in everything you say and do. To engage this type of student you should challenge their world view and get them to think outside of their box.

Interpersonal – Try to present your lessons in a way that relates to actual life and you’ll have this learner hooked. Be careful though, because they’re lawyers in training and will be able to talk you out of deadlines, homework, and anything else if you let them get you off track.