So as a Uni student, have you ever wondered why some of your friends seem to absorb information like a sponge, while others struggle to even stay awake in lectures?
Well, if you fall in the latter camp, I’m about to unveil one of the learning world's superpowers: the Kinesthetic Learning Style!
Everyone has their own unique and different ways of processing new information, and the kinesthetic learning style is all about engaging whole-body movement and getting hands-on experience to enhance learning.
As an ex-student, I've spent more than 10 years experimenting with different learning styles. I've used the kinesthetic-tactile learning style to learn new skills. I've found that my brain is primed for learning after doing active, physical activity or exercise.
So if you learn best by doing, touching, or experiencing, then you might just be a kinesthetic learner!
Let's discover your learning superpower using kinesthetic study strategies to achieve student success.
This post is all about kinesthetic learners.
So let’s find out right away what it means and get the takeaway.
The kinesthetic Learning Style, also known as tactile or hands-on learning, involves using physical movement and sensory experiences to enhance learning. Kinesthetic learners excel in activities that involve movement, enjoy taking things apart or engaging in hands-on experiments, and may use gestures when communicating.
Of course, it's worth knowing that there are other types of learners based on the VARK model:
Let’s begin to understand a little more about this incredibly powerful kinaesthetic learning type by delving deeper.
What is Kinesthetic Learning?
Kinesthetic learning is like learning through the power of touch, motion and even taste!
It is also known as tactile or hands-on learning and involves physical movement and sensory experiences to grasp and retain information effectively.
Kinaesthetic learners positively thrives through active participation and in an active environment, where they can participate and manipulate objects to hone their understanding.
Imagine you're in a lecture, and your professor is explaining some complex concept.
Some of your fellow students can easily grasp the material by just reading or listening, but you find yourself struggling to truly understand the subject and stay focused.
If this sounds pretty familiar, then kinesthetic learning might be the secret sauce you need!
Kinesthetic learning, also known as tactile learning, is all about getting your tactile senses and whole body movement up close and personal and involved in the learning process.
Rather than just passively absorbing it from a book or a lecture, this approach allows you to absorb information better by actually doing something.
How to identify if you’re a Kinesthetic Learner
So as we’ve discovered, Kinesthetic learners are those who learn best through hands-on experiences and physical hands-on activities. Now, lets look more closely into the needs of kinesthetic learners.
They're the ones who like to move, touch, and interact with their environment to grasp information better.
So if you think you might benefit from a kinesthetic style of learning, here are 8 signs to look out for:
1. Hands-on approach: They love getting their hands dirty, but of course not literally! Kinesthetic learners enjoy taking apart gadgets, creating things with their own hands and doing science experiments
2. Gestures and expressions: anyone who vibes with a Kinesthetic style of learning, will often use facial expressions and gestures to communicate. When they talk, they might also use their hands to help explain their thoughts.
3. Difficulty sitting still: They may find it hard to stay engaged without some sort of physical involvement.Sitting through long lectures without doing any type of interactive element can be a struggle for kinesthetic learners.
4. Active learning preference: Kinesthetic learners might fidget or wiggle when sitting for long periods, as they simply learn better when they're moving. They also tend to excel in activities that involve movement, like dancing, sports, or any kind of physical exercise.
5. Role-playing preference: They enjoy role-playing activities or simulations that let them act out scenarios to understand concepts better.
6. Preference for lab work: kinesthetic learners often thrive in hands-on laboratory settings rather than just reading about theories IF studying science or technical subjects. Whatever their field of study, kinesthetic learners process information better through physical activities.
7. Note-Taking style: They may prefer using sticky notes, colour-coded highlighters, or doodles in their notes to make the learning process more engaging and interactive
8. Tendency to take frequent breaks: Kinesthetic learners may need to take short breaks during study sessions to move around a bit or get up and stretch. It helps them retain information effectively and stay focused.
Ok, so now you might be thinking, that’s me! Let’s discover how you can use the bodily kinesthetic learning style actively to get the most out of your study time.
Examples of Kinesthetic Learning in Action
So, how can you make the most of your kinesthetic learning superpower? Here are 7 of my best practical examples:
1. Get Your Hands Dirty
Take hands-on classes or engage in activities that involve building, touching, or creating something related to your studies.
So for example, if you're learning about chemistry get more involved in fieldwork or lab experiments to see the concepts in action.
2. Flashcards and Hands-On Manipulatives
For subjects like maths or engineering, use manipulatives like building blocks to understand abstract concepts visually or by using visual representations.
Create flashcards for important facts and review them while walking around or bouncing a ball. For subjects like maths or engineering, use manipulatives like building blocks to understand abstract concepts visually.
3. Role-Playing and Simulations
In a science class, consider simulations to visualize complex processes.
If you're studying history, act out historical events with your friends to understand the context better.
4. Practice with Real-Life Applications
If you're learning physics, for instance, try applying the principles to everyday situations or conduct simple experiments to observe the laws in action.
Whenever possible, connect your studies to real-life applications.
5. Study Groups
Take turns explaining concepts to each other or engage in debates to reinforce your understanding.
6. Teach Others
Offer to explain concepts to classmates or friends, or even record yourself explaining topics and play it back to see how well you understand them.
Teaching is a fantastic way to reinforce your own learning and is by far the most effective way to identify any gaps in your knowledge.
You don't have to teach in traditional classroom environments such as in elementary school or even in high school, the best ways to teach new things and new concepts is perhaps through online learning. Especially for long periods of time.
Associate information with physical movements. For example, if you're learning a language, act out the vocabulary as you learn it.
So if you are starting to think that this is the type of learner you are and that it gets you motivated, let’s find out how it can be combined with other types of learning to smash your study goals!
Combining Kinesthetic Learning with Other Styles
So although this style of getting bodily involved in your study can be a powerful tool on its own, combining Kinesthetic learning with other styles can supercharge your learning experience!
Here are some great combinations that can really work:
● Auditory-Kinesthetic: Record your lecture notes and listen to them while engaging in a physical activity you enjoy such as gentle exercise or like jogging
● Reading-Kinesthetic: When reading textbooks, take brief breaks to summarize material and then recite what you’ve learned out aloud to reinforce your understanding.
● Visual-Kinesthetic: Watch animations, podcasts or educational videos and then re-enact the concepts using physical movements ( this sounds a little crazy, but as a Kinesthetic learner, you will more easily absorb the information and experience deep learning!)
(Related Article: Visual Learning Style: 5 Awesome Strategies for Success!)
(Related Article: VARK Read/Write Learner: How it can Smash your Study Goals)
Kinesthetic Learners - to finish
So, whether you're constructing a model to understand complex structures or enacting historical events to delve into the past, enjoy the process and embrace your learning superpower!
When you understand your learning style, it’s like unlocking a unique superpower that helps you conquer the academic world and be a force to be reckoned with!
Make the most of it and embrace it by incorporating hands-on experiences into your everyday study routine.
Remember, learning (where possible!) should be a fun and personalized journey. It's just part of the learning process.
To read more about learning styles head over to find out more with my other helpful article What is Vark And How Can It Level Up Your Learning Style?
This post was all about kinesthetic learners.
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