Model of Learning Styles: Why and How to use the Models

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Model of Learning Styles

Learning, the only thing that can completely transform our lives and make us better one. Learning will be more comfortable when we prefer Learning styles.

Every day we learn many new skills, new information, new concepts, and many more in our way.

Though you are undoubtedly reading this article, you are a good learner and learn in your way and want to know – is there any great possible way to learn more effectively, efficiently, and accurately?    

To explore this great way of learning, educationalist and psychologist discover many different models of Learning styles through which one can learn better.

The Learning Style models are much more helpful but have a drawback because everyone has a different learning style on different topics.

So applying these models of learning style one everyone in every situation will not be appropriate.

Despite all the drawbacks, understanding these models of learning style can boost up your learning capabilities, and you can explore your full potential.

So in this article, Let’s explore the different modules of learning styles discovered by the experts of the learning field. 


David Kolb’s model of learning style


Firstly, The learning style by David A. Kolb is completely based on experimental learning.

Kolb’s model relates to four modes, such as Concrete experience and Abstract conceptualization for grasping experience, whereas Reflective observation and Active experimentation for transforming experience. 

This model forms a learning cycle such as Experience, Observation, conceptualization and experimentation, then it will then reverse back to the experience and then follow the next steps of the cycle.

Kolb also mentions that to make your learning more productive, you have to incorporate all these four modes. He advises preferring one of the following four styles of learning that is Accommodator, Converger, Diverger, and Assimilator.

  • Accommodator, which is Concrete Experience with Active Experiment, is strong in practical doing.
  • Converger, which is Abstract Conceptualization with Active Experiment, is strong in the practical application of theories.
  • Diverger, which Concrete Experience with Reflective Observation is strong in discussion and imaginative ability.
  • Finally, the Assimilator, which is Abstract Conceptualization with Reflective Observation, is reliable in making theories and inductive reasoning. 

Peter and Alan’s model of learning style 

At first, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford use the experimental learning model discovered by David Kolb.

But later, based on their managerial experiences, they renamed the four stages of the learning cycle of Kolb as Activist, Reflector, Theorist, Pragmatist.

Peter Honey and Alan Mumford’s learning style questionnaire (LSQ) is a self-development tool, and it differs from Kolb’s model.

In 1999, A survey by the campaign for learning found that LSQ by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford is the most useful learning style in the UK.

VAK Modalities

Visualizing, Auditory and Kinesthetic (VAK) Modalities are proposed by educational psychologist Walter Burke Burble and colleagues.

Visualizing modalities contains picture, shape, sculpture, and painting also. The auditory modalities contain listening, rhythms, tone, charts, and last but not least Kinesthetic contains gestures, body movements, object manipulation, positioning.

According to Barbe and Colleagues, a model of learning style can occur individually or in combination. Although visual or mixed modality is the most frequent according to their research.

In those years, the VAK model of learning style was widely used by the people. But later, like the other model of learning, it also has a drawback.

Psychologist Scott Lillienfeld has mentioned that the excess use of the VAK learning style model is just nothing more than pseudoscience.

Anthony Gregorc’s model of learning style

This model of learning by Anthony Gregorc consists of two perceptual abilities as well as two ordering abilities.

Concrete and Abstract are the two perceptual abilities, whereas random and sequential are the two ordering abilities.

The Concrete perceptual ability registers the information provided through five senses, while the Abstract perceptual ability understands the qualities and ideas of the concept.

Likewise, perceptual ability, the Sequential ordering ability, organizes the information linearly and logically, whereas random ordering ability organizes in a chunk, not in a specific order.

This model suggests four combinations of the abilities based on the dominance – Concrete random, Concrete sequential, Abstract random, Abstract sequential.

This learning style by Anthony also says that someone with one of the four combinations learns in a completely different way than someone with another combination and also says the strengths, questions asked during learning, doubts will completely differ from each other.

VARK Model of Learning Style

Firstly, Neil fleming’s VARK model is the extended model of Barbe and colleagues’ VAK model. 

Here four modalities are suggested by Fleming in his model of learning style. These are Visual learning, Auditory learning, Physical learning, and Social learning. 

Neil Fleming suggests that every learner learns in his style of learning. According to him, Visual learner prefers to learn through seeing objects like diagrams, charts, etc.

Likewise, Auditory learner prefers learning through listening whereas Kinesthetic learner prefers to learn through experience like doing experiments.

Fleming suggests students find their learning style and focus on these styles, which help them improve their learning.

Neil Fleming also suggests that one can prefer a single modality of learning or multiple learning modalities as per their choice, which benefits them most. 

Cognitive model

Firstly, In 1974, Anthony Grasha and Sherry Reichmann proposed a cognitive model known as Grasha-Reichmann’s learning style.

It was mainly focused on the student’s attitude and their approach towards learning. 

Also, In this model of learning, Anthony Grasha and Reichmann mainly distinguish between adaptive styles and maladaptive styles. These learning styles’ names are avoidant, participative, competitive, collaborative, dependent, and independent.

It was mainly designed to provide insight knowledge to the college teachers on how to deal with instructional plans for their students.

NASSP Learning Style

A task force named as National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) was formed in the 1980s to take a study over learning styles. 

The force found the majorly of three categories of style – Cognitive, Affective, Physiological, with 31 variables, including the Barbe and Colleagues’ VAK model.

Cognitive styles of learning are used for perception, retention, and organization. Attractive styles show the learners’ motivational dimensions.

Physiological style is based upon learners’ condition of health, his well-being, and the surrounding from where he is learning.

The NASSP team suggests teachers observe every individual student’s behaviour through which the teacher can recognize the best learning style for that student.

Criticism on models of learning styles 

Many psychologists, neuroscientists, learning scholars, and researchers have questioned the scientific basis and criticized those models.

Lastly, The serious concern about this argument is that – In the classroom, the use of a specific learning style leads students to self-limit themselves, which is more harmful than beneficial.

Some researchers also suggest that learning style can be better under a specific condition in the long-term, which is next to more challenging, and teaching students with their learning style will not valid.

 Some psychologists also suggest that students learn more than before if the preferred learning style matches the student’s learning style.

Uses Of Learning Style

On the above, you find a lot of criticism about the models of learning style. Now you also have a doubt that is using a learning style good or not?

All the learning styles may be good or bad. But it entirely depends upon you which modules of learning style are better for you, which can develop your way of learning.


In this article, we have entirely discussed the models of learning styles. One of the key points is that we can be successful learner if we can find which learning styles suit us.

To find an effective learning style, we should have to analyze all the modules to find the most relevant learning style that can improve our learning and help us approach new learning in a better and easier way, makes us better at studies, and many more.

Also you can read our blog on Powers of Observation: 8 Analyzed Ways to Develop it


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