Learning styles

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Maybe you’ve heard of the term “learning style.” Although it can refer to a number of different things, I’d like to focus on the three most common types: visual, audio, and kinesthetic. 

Now what are we talking about? Simply, we all have different ways for processing information. We tend to “lean into certain methods over others.” A study at University of Arkansas revealed that those preferring “audio” learning enjoy talking, like to be read to, and enjoys listening activities. They might speak slowly and precisely. “Visual” learners on the other hand, like to read. Their mind wanders during audio directions, but they are usually good at remembering details. They tend to use metaphors and pictures when they speak. Finally, the “kinesthetic” learner is not a particular avid reader. They use their hands while talking, and they have to be “doing” something all the time. They really feel their way through what they are saying. 

Why does this matter? If you desire to improve your communication skills, you’ll connect much better with others by putting things into forms your audience better understands. Your communication will become more meaningful and engaging when your put information and experiences into a structure where people more readily receive. 

Do your homework. Who are you teaching? What is their primary learning style? When you think about Jesus, have you considered the way he engaged his audience? Jesus used a variety of methods in His teaching. He used stories and illustrations, parables, questions, discussion, lecture, object lessons, and debates to  communicate His message in a way that connected to His learners. For you auditory learners Jesus famously said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear!” Mark 4:9.  Proverbs 4:21 addresses the visual learning style when it records “don’t let God’s word out of your sight, Do not let them depart before your eyes.” And for the kinesthetic learner like Thomas He said, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

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