Learning Perspectives

Learning Perspectives

‘People learn in different ways’ – Explain these differences

All people have various strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the learning process. Kolb (cited in Bingham and Drew 2004, p211) suggests that we as individuals all have an actual preference to how we learn and identified four main areas of learning that people can compare and relate themselves to. By knowing which style someone categorically falls into can help determine areas of learning which might be necessary to improve upon so as to become a better learner.

For someone to know their own preferred way of learning is an advantage in any academic circumstance, or any other situation for that matter. Many people do not even realise that they learn in one preferred way over another. It is not determined that there is a correct or incorrect way of learning – there are just simply different ways of doing it. Kolb (1984) identified four main ways in which people tend to learn. He labelled them according to the characteristics of the learning type and came up with the following model (cited in Bingham and Drew 2004, p211-p212):

Concrete – People that tend to learn in a concrete way will prefer to focus on the here and now rather than on generalisations or theories; their focus is placed on feelings and intuition; they prefer to be involved with people and like being engaged in real situations; they enjoy receiving feedback which is about them personally.
Reflective – People that tend to learn in a reflective way will place focus on the meaning of things by careful observation of ideas and situations; they will prefer to know how things actually happen; they are confident of their own opinions and thoughts; they do not like situations where there is a need to get something done.

Abstract – People that tend to learn in an abstract way will focus on the logical side of situations; they like to explore theories and concepts and are good at planning; they prefer to think alone rather than...

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