Teachers in early childhood education must understand the diversity of learning styles in the classroom environment. Since each child is likely to have a different learning style, students need a variety of lesson plans and activities to engage the entire class. Understanding how students learn will make it easier to create appropriate lesson plans for the educational program.
Most common Learning Styles in Early Childhood
Although different learning styles might develop as children get older, students will generally learn in one of three ways:
Visual: The students with a visual style of learning will remember information best when presented with pictures or images. Visual learners will often recognize numbers and letters better than peers with another type of learning style.
Auditory: Auditory learners are best able to understand when they hear information. In early education, auditory learners are more likely to prefer listening to stories or telling stories as a major method of understanding information.
Kinesthetic: Students with a kinesthetic learning style are the physically active members of the class. The students learn best by manipulating objects and engaging in physical activities to learn the material.
As children continue learning reading, writing, logic and socializing skills, they may adapt to different learning styles. However, these changes often won’t develop until later in life and are less common during early childhood development stages.
Other styles of learning
While the average student in early education will learn through one of the styles listed above, some of the class may learn in different ways. Children can develop alternative learning styles over their educational experience.
Verbal: Students who focus on words rather than simple auditory sound. In early childhood education, verbal learners and auditory learners will have similarities due to the use of stories as a primary method of understanding information. As children get a little older, the verbal learners will prefer learning through reading, writing and listening to information. Auditory learners will focus on music and sound in general, but will not necessarily enjoy reading or writing.
Logical or mathematical: Focus is on finding a pattern to the thought processes. These students will understand math and science better than peers. Using reason to provide answers to questions will help the students learn information.
Social: Interaction with classmates is also a contributing factor in learning. While some young children will learn best when working with peers, other children will prefer working alone on class projects.
While many children will have a secondary learning style related to social interaction, others are solitary learners. They understand information best when allowed to work out the problems without classmates offering input. Early education teachers will notice that the children prefer playing alone rather than spending time with peers.
Ms. Nora Sierra
EC Assistant Principal