Honey and Mumford Learning Styles - A simple picture

Here is a simple view of one of the most famous Learning Styles theories.

Take a look at the diagram below and see which speech bubble comes in to your head when you are trying to learn something new.

Do you think you fit in to one of these boxes or do you flex your approach depending on the situation?

Let us know in the comments below.

It is important to acknowledge that whilst Learning Styles are widely accepted & integrated in to the Learning & Development field there is little scientific research that actually supports that designing learning interventions to meet different 'Learning Styles' makes a difference to the learning outcome. 

So where does this leave us?

Take a look at this article on learning styles

The key thing is to be aware and to find what works for you in terms of style and technique.

Do we all have ONE learning style? Do we have this same learning style ALL THE TIME? Do we change over time or is this a constant do you think?

And I guess most importantly, what does all this mean to the way that we design and facilitate learning in our organisations?

Would be interested to hear your views.

Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Ady Howes - Community Manager, DPG

You need to be a member of DPG Community to add comments!

Join DPG Community


  • I am definately an activist, i learn by doing, and find it easier to explain it to myself when i make mistkes by going over and over the subject.

  • I think I'm more Pragmatist/Activist cross. I lwant to have a go and "press the button" to se ehow things work, but I need to know how they work and how this will fit into real life examples.

  • I am an activist, i like to get involved and get my hands dirty, i find that giving something a go gives you the opportunity to get it wrong. Learning from your mistakes is a quicker more effective way of learning.

    • Hi Melanie

      I'd totally agree that doing is a great way to learn. 'Experiential Learning' is proven to be productive. Maybe that's more likely to be called 'learning-in-the-flow' these days.

      I'd debate learning from mistakes though, I prefer learning from success - I like someone to show me how to get things right and avoid pitfalls.  Or is that the same thing?


      • Hi Gary,

        I would say in a training/learning enviroment learning from your mistakes is good, it helps you memorise the correct process. By making that mistake you are then more likely to be conscious of it and make sure the mistake is not repeated?

        If you are constantly successfull, you may be prone to thinking you dont need to put as much effort in or listern / try as hard as you may need to?

        I may be totally wrong ! :)

        • I can totally see your point that we don't want to be given a false sense of security or misplaced confidence that could snowball into complacency. For sure.

          I guess where I am coming from is that I used to train trainers. I would get disheartened when they would set up tasks for their trainees where the trainees had not been given enough guidance (from the trainer) on how to succeed - so the trainee always failed. This then made the trainees, understandably, reluctant to engage with further training.

          Taking it to the extreme, the old 'chuck them in at the deep end and see if they sink or swim' is what is conjures up in my head when we talk about learning from mistakes. But I'm guessing that is going to the extreme and isn't what you mean! I'm probably over-sensitive due to my previous experience 😊

          Interesting debate, as I can see both sides have benefits (your side and mine I mean - not the trainers that I used to work with😉).

  • I think I'm more of a theorist as I need to know 'why' for everything. Once i'm able to understand why, it builds a foundation of where I can continue learning and build on what I have learnt. I'd then say I would say I lean towards towards Activist, putting myself into the action (hoping my why question has helped me!)

  • My preferences lean towards Pragmatist and Activist; I like to understand how my learning relates to my role and I like to put the learning into practice as soon as I can.  However, during this coursework, I'm realising more and more that I also use the Reflector and Theorist styles.  In the face-to-face courses we run in my organisation, we try to cover all four learning preferences.  We often break up our leaners into smaller groups for skills practice sessions.  It hadn't crossed my mind to sort them into groups containing different learner styles, but I like this idea very much.  I'll be looking at how we can do this in future.     

  • I have used learning styles at the start of most of my courses and tend see the same styles mainly reflectors and activists. I sit across all Four personally which I think is an advantageous but I struggle if faced with a group of theorists together ! It is very interesting and when I have challenging days this often due to the styles in the group. It just takes a bit od thought - in group work for example pairing the people carefully, often the reflectors work well together but sometimes putting an activist with a reflector can help as they can often complement each other. I have learned with a group of reflectors to always allow time for review otherwise they cannot move in the next topic. Fascinating stuff!

  • I think that people use a good mix of learning styles, but have a dominant one to 'solidify' what they've learnt. 

    E.g. Watching an instructional video, taking notes, (possibly re-writing the notes), then following the written instructions to complete the learning

     Myself, I'm a good mix, and can't say that I lean more towards one than the other... though this could a case of using each style for different situations. I think there's definitely times where people will try to learn something using their preferred method, but have changed to another that best suits the topic/content. 



This reply was deleted.

Get Involved

Start a discussion in one of the following Zones


What's Happening?

Lynne Hayes-Clarke and Marie Favre are now connected
Lynne Hayes-Clarke and abigail gaster are now connected
mike james posted a blog post
Megan S is now a member of DPG Community
Choi Newton and marryjamess joined DPG Community
marryjamess posted a blog post
Sue Wade is now connected with Abigail Hopkins and Charlene Michelson
Kelly Stone is now a member of DPG Community
Tatianna Sousa updated their profile photo
Tatianna Sousa updated their profile
David Cooper replied to Kaitlyn Bishop's discussion The essence of the essay
David Cooper posted a discussion