The whole idea of learning styles became popular thanks to David Kolb. If you'd like to jump ahead, here's a quick read from About.com about learning styles. What Kolb and others believe is that we all learn a little differently, but that to learn best we need to progress through a four-part cycle. Most of us tend to favor one of those parts and have a little more trouble with the remaining three. So, yes, you probably have a dominant style.
Kolb believed that we grasp information in one of two ways - we like real, concrete experiences (keep it real!) or we like theories, abstract ideas (just the facts). Most of us are a little of both of those. Some of us are little more extreme than others.
|My slideshow from class!|
Secondly, Kolb looked at how we transform that information. Some like to dive right in and some like to sit back and watch.
|Another slide from my class!|
Yes, this is why your friend needs to think about a project and watch YouTube videos before s/he even starts, whereas you approach a project by talking to a friend then jumping right in, making it up as you go.
When these ideas are combined, we end up with the four learning styles.
Now a moment from personal experience (yes, I speak from personal experience which fits my style!)...I went fabric shopping with a friend of mine. We walked into the store (Surplus City in Williamsport, PA); she froze then looked at me and said, "I am so overwhelmed that I don't even know what to do." Meanwhile, I began plan of attack.
In her defense, the place is a bit much - there is stuff everywhere! But, we approached that new information (the fabric in the store) very differently. She needs to reflect a lot more and act slowly. I just dive right in. But this is why I can crank out projects while she's reading blogs and books. Neither approach is wrong; neither is right. They are just different. So why is this important? Because both of us could learn a lesson from the other. Her lesson: trust your gut and get moving. My lesson: slow down and think about what you are doing. She would get more things done and I would stop making mistakes!
Here's my personal summary of the four styles: some dream; some think; some do; and some create. Ideally, to really learn, we need to do all of these...we need to dream, think, do, and create.
Next...what about those dreamers?!