As we all know, everyone is different and we all have different skills and abilities when it comes to all aspects of life. This includes how we best learn and the learner type that we are. Years of educational research has shown that the more aware a student is of their learning style, the more productive and successful their learning journey can be and the better their final results will prove.
Two researchers (Peter Honey and Alan Mumford) who adapted Kolb’s experiential learning model, managed to identify four main learner types as Activist, Reflector, Pragmatist and Theorist of which all learners will hold strong traits for. By using a Learning Style Questionnaire, they help people identify which learning type best suits them and makes it possible for them to improve their learning experience.
Activist learners love to dive right in and begin learning through hands-on trial and error. They often overlook or avoid the side of planning or theoretical work.
A reflective learner prefers a more slow and considered approach to studying. They like to be thorough and fully understand what is expected of them. Once completed, they like to review what they have learnt during their learning experience.
Pragmatic learners like to apply their learning to real world situations. They enjoy being able to see how any one action or practice would effect their surroundings. They are often uninterested in the theory of things, and much prefer the doing.
A Theorist learner wants to understand underlying concepts and theories. They enjoy working out the finer details of theories and collecting evidence facts to probe and test concepts.
How to Choose a Course Based on my Learner Type
Once you know your learning type, then it will become far easier for you to identify and select which style of course you would like to study. For example, if you’re a Theorist, then courses such as A-Levels, especially in Arts and Humanities would be a good fit for your learning journey. As Activists like to jump right in and get on with their studies, then courses which can be completed quickly and at their pace (such as Diplomas) would be a better fit.
However, it’s important to remember that these categories of learners are meant to be as a guide to help students, they are not steadfast and definitely don’t mean you are stuck to one type of course because of your learning style. An Activist would be just as successful as a Theorist studying A-Levels, they would just need to adapt their learning methods to ensure they get their best results.