Most people have heard of learning styles at some point or another. The concept is a simple way to categorise the different ways that our brains work in terms of how we learn, since different types of people learn best in different ways.
Figuring out your own learning style is helpful as it may give you a better idea about how best to approach your own learning and make your studying more effective.
Sound good? Well there are various models for analysing learning styles, but in this post we are just going to look at two major styles:
Global Vs Analytical Learners
Psychology and biology attempt to further our understanding of our brains. This organ is incredibly complex and it is not yet fully understood. But never the less, trials and tests have driven our understanding a lot in recent years.
By understanding how your own brain works you can adjust how you approach learning and you may well find that you can increase your ability to study and retain information more easily as a result.
Details Or Big Picture?
A simple way to decide whether you are a global or an analytical learner is to consider how you view events or problems. Some people tend to look at the whole picture and its context first, whilst others look more at the smaller pieces and how they fit together.
Both approaches are legitimate of course, you will just naturally tend towards one over the other. Let’s take an example:
When you think about your trip to the seaside last summer, do you think about the whole trip as one experience or as a cluster of smaller events?
Big picture thinkers are more likely to forget smaller details and how they fit together and are more likely to remember bigger aspects, such as the setting, the weather, how they felt etc…
Cluster thinkers will be more likely to remember getting up to leave in the morning, the first night in the hotel, the nice meal by the sea, or when they got sand in their ice-cream.
What Difference Does It Make?
Knowing your strengths lets you focus on improving your weaknesses. Both learning styles have advantages and disadvantages as you might expect.
If you are a global learner:
You probably prefer to understand the whole event before learning the details. Without context smaller events are meaningless to you. Remembering the overall results or the main problem will help you to find a solution.
If you are an analytical learner:
You need the details in order to understand the bigger picture. You are more interested in the mechanics of a problem than its context. Your weakness is that failing to understand a small aspect of a problem may prevent you from tackling the larger challenges.
How To Modify Your Learning?
Hopefully you already have an idea of what your learning style is. You probably found that one of these two traits feels familiar to you, although you may have a touch of both styles – it isn’t necessarily black and white.
But there is no use in this post if you can’t action it. So how do these learning styles help you to learn more effectively?
You are not good with details, so when dealing with them, try to concentrate and take notes. Always start by looking at the ‘big picture’ and then view the details in context. It may be helpful to use diagrams to analyse how those details fit in to your bigger picture.
For you, diving into the inner workings of a problem is fine, try not to overwhelm yourself with big challenges, but instead make sure to break large problems down into small, manageable ones. In exams try to skip problems that you struggle with and move on to the next.
About The Author:
This post was written by James, a tutor from UKTutors.com, check them out here. They offer various services for people who need a private tutor to help with their education.