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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.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Ady Howes - Community Manager, DPG

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Comments

  • I always liked the idea of learning styles, whether be it Kolb, H&M, VARK, and I have always felt a strong pull towards some of these when thinking about my own style (activist/reflector as a style, kinaesthetic/visual as preference).

    This said, many articles I have read recently seem to dispute the validity of learning styles theories, and some of these doubts are raised in the wired.com articled linked above.

    So, what I have been wondering over the last year or so is:

    • how much do learning styles actually affect an individual's ability to absorb a concept?
    • Is it something we should prioritise when creating or facilitating a learning programme?
    • Shoud we not aim to stretch ad grow individuals by addressing their improvement areas, rather than playing to their strengths?

     

    Would love to hear some views on this.

  • I’m quite conscious of having different learning styles dependant on how much I know the subject, my confidence in being able to pick this up easily, what’s the consequences of me needing to understand this in depth, is this a long knowledge I need to understand, for example will I need this again or is the knowledge I require deeper. When creating learning programmes.... there is a need to be absolutely aware of this but not forgetting that we have adult learners, but these are new skills that they require, with nassive implications for our patients.

  • I always thought I was a reflector, however as my career and indeed confidence has grown I find I have a prefernce for each one depending on the situation.

    If it's a flat pack piece of furniture I'll look at the instructions, yet if it's a piece of new technology I just want to get on and do - the danger there is I may not be using all of it's functions.

    Ultimately I think it's great to be aware of your own preferences in certain situations to make sure you get the most out of each learning opportunity - and that your delegates do too!

     

  • I think I'm multimodal when it comes to learning styles / preferences. The dominant mode I operate in depends very much on the context for me. I like to think that each 'style' is part of a reflective cycle which I aim to follow 1. do 2. review 3. learn 4. apply (Honey & Mumford / Kolb hybrid). Each stage of this cycle is necessary and corresponds with H&M's 1. activist 2. reflector 3. theorist 4. pragmatist. 

    A key point for training / learning activities is surely variety - a buffet/smorgasbord - but not just for it's own sake, it has to be relevant, valid & coherent - and always supporting and consolidating the intended learning outcomes.

  • I believe i am a blend of all...depends of the situation. I would say primarly pragmatist as I mostly go for the usseful and practicals... ideeas...

  • I think I am a blend of all 4, with activist as the prime style....  I need to understand the why that is said to be the right way, how will it be applied, how I could apply it, and are there other factors that could change it....

  • I always thought I was a "Activist" very much need to be hands on to learn but now looking further into this I am a blend of Activist and Reflector - i need to process the information and then I want to jump in and have a go 

     

    • HI Paulo

      Great to hear back from you. Back in the day when I'd bought into Learning Styles, I felt I was an activist and reflector together too. I have to say, nowadays, I don't put much value on the theory of learning styles. I find that I'm a mixture of them all dependant on scenario.

      Some situations, I like to dive in and learn by doing..... on others.. .I like to take a day or two to reflect then give things a go.

      And there doesn't seem to be much pattern behind which I select either.

      How do you find that mixture of styles? Are there particular situations where you adopt one more than the other?

       

  • Although I tend adopt a bit of each, I find that I veer more towards the 'Refector' learning style. I am very introspective and need time to process what I've heard/watched/listened to etc. 

  • i believe i am a blend of all four of the H&M learning styles. I truly believe it would be hard for anyone to be just one.

    I also find visual learning helps my learning. repeating the action or knowledge helps me retain the skill. 

    When facilitating classes or training exercises i try to accomodate for all these learning styles by adding reflective and collaborative exercises. 

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