Student learning styles

In a person-centred approach to learning, a special role belongs to the individual approach to each learner. But teachers-practitioners know very well how difficult it is to do it within a lesson to achieve positive results and not to cause negative emotions to the subject, teacher, school.

To address this issue, American and English teachers offered training based on different learning styles. American teacher A. Gregorck suggested an interesting approach to the task of bringing the content and methods of teaching in line with different learning styles (see Gregor’s A.F.). Inside style: Questions and Answers. Maynard, MA: Gabriel Systems, 1985; An adult’s quide to style. Maynard, MA: Gabriel Systems, 1982). He identified four learning styles:

  • concrete and consistent (hereinafter referred to as the CP);
  • abstract sequential (AC);
  • discretely scattered (CP);
  • abstractly-dispersed (AR);

Each of them in its own way is important and necessary in the doctrine: there are no “good” and “bad” styles. There are dominant (preferred), intermediate (close to the dominant), accompanying styles.

If a pupil has two dominant styles, it is easier for him to adapt to different styles of teaching. Conflictologists point out that one of the significant causes of misunderstanding and conflict between student and teacher in class is often the “disconnect” between the student’s teaching style and the teacher’s teaching style. Read more nere

Each style has its advantages and disadvantages. Since most of my classes were dominated by students with a specific and consistent teaching style, I will give an example with the characteristics of this style (KP).

Positive aspects a student with this learning style: neat, with business qualities, developed physical perception of time and space, increased attention to detail, attaches great importance to facts, has a focused practical thinking, prefers to work in a calm, well-organized environment, clearly performs everything in time and would like to have a specific time frame (framework) and “step-by-step” plan of activities.


it is difficult to navigate in the new environment, if the usual conditions change, the desire to find the right answer, if he can not find it, it is very upset, stops working, critical of those who are not related to this style, low tolerance for other opinion, lack of attention to the needs of others, a preference to work with objects, not with people.

Students with this style will achieve the best results in learning if the teacher uses the following teaching methods:

  • solving practical problems (mechanical and technical problems);
  • performance of practical (real) tasks;
  • tasks, providing for concrete results
  • (make design, model);
  • use of the computer and any tasks that require assembling,
  • draw, make, classify, build, measure,
  • sort it out;
  • you need clear guidelines and instructions.

For successful work it is necessary:

  1. Define your own style;
  2. Identify individual styles of subject teachers working in parallel;
  3. Identify class students’ styles in order to identify their preferences, i.e., the conditions and paths that allow them to learn more easily.

For definition of styles the matrix-definition of A.Gregork is used (see the sample in “School technologies”, No.5, 1998).

Training based on learning styles allows the implementation of a number of principles:

the principle of adaptation. The essence of it is to adapt the content of the lesson to the student’s learning style (it is recommended to be used for underachieving students, as they develop self-confidence).
the principle of variation. Learning content or a mix of teaching styles and teaching styles. Using a dominant style, the teacher can develop other, weakly manifested styles.

After getting new classes, I start working with learning styles like this:

  • Identify learning styles on the determinant A. Gregorka;
  • Set of groups KP, KR, AR, AK (there can be several groups of the same style: KP-1, KP-2, KP-3, etc.);
  • Prepare task cards (for abstractors – tasks are creative, without instructions, non-standard, while the specifics are given clear, specific tasks, with a mandatory plan, instructions, deadline).

Let me give you an example of the task cards on the topic: “Geological structure, relief and minerals of the Arkhangelsk region”:

Group KP-1. Read §3, 4, perform the task to identify tectonic structures in the Arkhangelsk region.
(Tectonic structure> time of formation). Make conclusions.

Group KP-2. What is the relief of the region? What is the connection between tectonic structure and relief?
(Tectonic structure>forms of relief). To draw conclusions.

  • Group KP-3. Find out what minerals were extracted in the Russian North.
  • AP Group. Knowing the tectonic structure of the area, predict what minerals can be on its territory, make a scheme of classification of rocks by origin, give examples. From the collection of rocks, choose examples of samples.
  • AR Group. Kurtyaevsk mineral springs are well known. Write an advertisement for Kurtyaevskaya water.
  • Group KR. In the North was well developed the ancient craft – salting. Offer your salt mining project.

Any technology has its pros and cons.

Positive aspects:

  • The use of learning styles helps students to understand their preferred ways of learning.
  • Using knowledge of styles helps to develop tolerance for those with a different learning style, to understand that classmates, like all people in the world, are different.
  • When preparing for a lesson, the teacher thinks about alternative teaching materials and selects the best teaching methods and activities. The main thing is that each student can work with the methods and activities that suit them.
  • Students develop self-confidence and self-esteem, which creates a situation of success for the student, which is equally enjoyable for both the student and the teacher.
  • This is especially helpful in organizing group work. And the principle of completing the group to children is clear and understandable. In the group there are students with the same learning styles and they are able to perform certain activities well, quickly, qualitatively and better than others. The time for performing the task is reduced by half.

Negative sides:

  • Negative is that there is very little domestic literature on the subject, and foreign articles (originals) are difficult to find.
  • The bad thing is that many teachers do not know their style of teaching and learning and therefore can not methodologically correctly organize the work of students and get the planned result.
  • Performance may be better if other teachers work with this method on the parallels and at school. Then joint actions allow students to develop different styles, and this will help in the future student life to adapt more quickly and better to new learning situations, easily adapt to new learning situations, and most importantly – to apply and develop new skills.

Thus, adapting content to the learning style makes it possible to address the problems of individualization in learning more effectively.


  1. Magazine “School Technologies”, ¹ 5, 1998 from 212-216, Dmitriev G.D.’s article “All Sisters on Earrings, or Educational Style of a Student: How to Work with Him?
  2. Velichko V.V., Karpievich D.V., Karpievich E.F., Kirilyuk L.G. “Innovative methods in civic education”, Minsk, “Madison”, 2001, from 49 to 53
  3. Maksakovsky V.P. “Teaching geography in a foreign school”, series “Library of geography teacher”, Art. “Styles of teaching and typology of geography lessons”, M, “Vlados”, 2001, Chapt.5.1, from 176-180.