What exactly does it mean to learn? How can someone implement effective learning models in the classroom? For some, the introduction to anything new in life teaches them something they did not already know. Others define learning as the process of remembering any information that is presented to them. Other groups believe that learning entails being able to practically apply what they have learned. In reality, the precise definition of learning is irrelevant. What matters is the process that occurs behind the scenes. According to research, learning is far more than we realize. There have been new studies that can help make the learning process more effective and enjoyable. Learning models are one aspect of this research that anyone can use to improve their learning process.
What Are Learning Models?
Any framework that defines the mechanism of learning is referred to as a learning model. In other words, a learning model is any method of acquiring new skills or knowledge. These models are further subdivided into various learning styles.
Learning Style Models and Respective Learners
There are numerous learning hacks available on the internet. They can be extremely effective at times. However, they do not always appear to work. The hacks are not to be blamed in this case. This is due to the differences in the learning styles of individuals and the science behind each style.
As a result, understanding the process is the best way to put all of these hacks and other learning tips to use. Seven distinct models define learning. Each one explains the process as well as relevant learning styles derived from the model.
1. Kolb Learning Style Model or Experiential Learning Model
Experiential learning theory, learning style. In this model, David A. Kolb proposed that learning is a four-stage process.
- Concrete learning
- Reflective observation
- Abstract conceptualization
- Active experimentation
The learner either encounters something new or goes through a variation of an old experience in the first stage. This leads to the following stage, in which the learner reflects on the experience. This experience is entirely understood through the learner's interpretation. Based on this understanding, the learner goes through abstract conceptualization, which involves the formation of new ideas or the modification of old ones.
Based on this understanding, the learner goes through abstract conceptualization, which involves the formation of new ideas or the modification of old ones. Everything that has been understood in the previous three stages is implied in the final stage. The learner then applies these new skills in real life, with the results sparking a new cycle.
According to this cycle, there are four types of learners:
- Convergers: These students typically concentrate on the third and fourth stages of the cycle. They enjoy experimenting. These individuals must put their knowledge into practice. That is why they enjoy technical tasks.
- Divergers: People who have this learning style tend to be more creative. They enjoy imagining to great lengths, which helps them come up with novel ideas. Divergers rely heavily on the cycle's first two stages.
- Assimilators: These students take on everything with the help of prior knowledge. To absorb information more effectively, they prefer conceptualization and reflection.
- Accommodators: Individuals with this learning style approach new tasks with open arms. Their learning style is practical, which is why they spend the majority of their time at the end of the cycle.
2. VARK Learning Style Model
VARK is an acronym that describes the learning model. It is an acronym that represents visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic learning styles. According to this model, every learner goes through one of these processes.
So, visual learners are more likely to remember what they see than what they hear. Similarly, auditory learners absorb information best through audio sources, readers and writers prefer either, and kinesthetic learners learn by doing.
This model categorizes learners into two types. Type one learners can switch between the four learning styles as needed. Type two learners, on the other hand, are referred to as slow learners because they only have one preference.
3. Model of Gregorc Learning
The Gregorc learning model delves deeply into the workings of the mind. According to this model, the mind has a dominant quadrant. Because this quadrant dominates mental activity, it determines each individual's learning style.
Concrete sequential learning is the first of these learning styles. These students learn through hands-on experience. In such learning, the use of all senses is noticed.
Next, there's concrete randomness. Such people can quickly memorize information but then interpret it based on prior knowledge. To learn the ukulele, for example, a person must relate the strumming pattern to another instrument they are already familiar with.
Moving forward, there are abstract sequential learners. For a successful learning process, people with this learning style require an organized learning environment with a variety of learning tools, particularly visuals.
Lastly, abstract random learners appear to work in a disorganized manner. They organize information in their minds by their interpretation.
4. Hermann Brain Dominance
The Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) is a model that introduced a mechanism for identifying individuals' learning preferences.
According to the findings, learners can be theorists, organizers, humanitarians, or innovators. Because theorists prefer sequential learning, they excel at memorizing information. Organizers can only absorb new information if it is organized systematically.
Humanitarians are concerned with interpersonal thinking, so their learning includes emotions, feelings, and the expression of ideas. Humanitarian students frequently interact in groups.
Finally, innovators use existing knowledge to create new knowledge. These students excel at problem-solving and critical thinking.
5. Felder-Silverman Learning Style Model
This learning model is based on the fact that everyone has different preferences when it comes to learning new information. Certain people may have multiple preferences, while others may switch from one to the other.
As the name implies, active and reflective learners are very hands-on. Active learning is their preferred method of instruction. Sensing and intuitive learners, on the other hand, concentrate on written facts and concepts. They can be presented with pre-existing ideas and will have no trouble remembering them.
For example, if a PR strategist can work better based on previous research rather than experimenting with new ideas in real-life situations, this style would be accounted for.
6. Honey Mumford Model
The Honey Mumford model and the Kolb model are very similar. It explains the following learning styles:
- Activists: Active learners engage in practical activities to gain knowledge.
- Theorists: These are people who like to learn from existing facts and figures.
- Pragmatists: These people conceptualize and experiment with ideas before learning from them.
- Reflectors: These students consider what they see and learn from it.
7. Model of 4MAT Learning
The 4MAT learning model is a Kolb model extension. It does, however, present four distinct learning styles: imaginative, analytical, dynamic, and common sense. According to this model, individuals who base their learning on experiences are considered common sense learners.
These experiences are conceptualized by imaginative learners, while analytical learners apply and refine the ideas. Dynamic learners use all of the steps, but they primarily base their learning on their interpretation.
While these are not the only ways to teach a class, engaging your students with a variety of these strategies can help keep the classroom a lively and dynamic learning environment. Each student is unique, and when it comes to learning styles, the ones that work best depend on who is being taught. Rotating the types of instruction that you as a teacher use is one way that can maximize the effectiveness of their time in the classroom. This ensures that there is a mix of strategies that may work well for different students.
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