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Updated on July 1, 2016


The three main styles include visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning that is learning by touch. Learning by touch and vision incorporates visual and kinesthetic aspects. Visual learners are those that understand a concept through monitoring the non-verbal cues of the instructor. They think by forming mental pictures of what is being taught. Learners by the touch style are those who understand concepts through being directly involved in them; they prefer doing experiments in class rather than listen to the instructor give theory lessons. Unfortunately, research shows that this type of learners loses focus easily and effortlessly. Auditory learning is whereby individuals understand concepts through listening and interpreting the data given through words and verbal cues.

It is important for students or learners to know the style they are well conversant with to understand concepts better while in class. Moreover, it is important for teachers also to understand these different styles to devise the best teaching methodologies for the different students. This is discussed in the “Dunn and Dunn: School-based learning styles” research article by Rita and Kenneth Dunn. It claims that besides the physiological factors (visual, touch, auditory) of learning styles, the understanding of students is influenced by environmental, emotional, sociological, and psychological factors (Eaves, 2009). As a result, there is no particular style that can be conclusively referred to like the best. It further states that only 40 percent of students are visual learners, 20-30 percent are auditory learners while 30-40 percent are either learner by touch or learners by touch and vision.

Replacing vision with touch

replacing vison and touch encourages learning
replacing vison and touch encourages learning | Source

Further studies

This study was expounded by Sandra Penger and Metaka Tekavcic. They sought to test Dunn and Dunn’s and the Honey and Mumford’s learning style theories in the Slovenian education system. They interviewed 63 seconds, and third-year students enrolled in the Bachelor’s degree program at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana based, on the convenience sampling method. The interview was through questionnaires that would be used to relate the gender, year of study and the learning attitudes of the interviewees. Using various statistical data analysis and research methodology methods- the qualitative meta-analysis and qualitative factor analysis- there were three clear distinctions of learning styles according to Dunn and Dunn theory. The research concluded by stating that matching students’ learning style preferences with complementary teaching methodology resulted in greater success for the students. It further stated that styles are not fixed but can change over time.

Also, there was a study conducted by Mina Eaves dubbed "Learning styles technology and supporting overseas learners" that researched the existing differences between the learning styles and corresponding teaching methodologies in Thailand and England. It found that learning styles are influenced by the culture of the learners. The inference was drawn from the fact that questioning and disapproving assertions by instructors, who are of older age, is seen as disrespect, particularly in Thailand. The research interviewed 28 postgraduate Thai students in English universities who asserted that there were significant differences in learning and educational styles between the two countries (Eaves, 2009).


The study by Sandra and Metaka found that there were different learning styles; mainly due to the presence of people with different personalities and understanding capabilities. There are those whose understanding is influenced by the environment, group discussion or the practicality of what is being taught. Those that understand better through a hands-on approach are under the learning by touch and vision. The research also claims that the styles of learning change at different stages in life (Penger & Tekavcic, 2009). It corresponds to a study by Price, Dunn and Sanders in 1980 which stated that very young children are either learner by touch or learners by touch and vision. As they grow, the visual aspect of learning also develops- seen at the elementary stage while those at the fifth or sixth grade were able to understand fully concepts through the auditory learning style.


According to Nina Eaves’ research, learning styles and teaching methodologies differ in different countries due to cultural beliefs (Eaves, 2009). Unfortunately, these beliefs hamper the understanding of the learners since their instructors take only a particular teaching methodology, teacher-centered. Also, the instructors in Thailand would give the students all the information they needed while, in England, students were supposed to research further. The research concluded by stating that students from England would not cope as learners in Thailand, mainly due to cultural differences.


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