Learning & Development blog

Learning Styles & Multiple Intelligence’s – What’s it all about?


Throughout life we all come across different methods and tricks that work best for us as an individual when learning, whether it be while studying to pass a super hard exam in mathematics or  figuring out how to use the brand new coffee machine your work bought.  Either way we tend to learn best when the content is presented in our personal learning style/s.

So what are learning styles & what is Multiple Intelligence?

Learning Styles

Learning styles are about how we concentrate, take in, store and remember new content.  We all have different approaches to learning, and sometimes we can have more than one learning style. I know personally I use different styles for different types of learning, for example to learn how to use our new coffee machine at work (yes we got one) I learnt how to do it by just giving it a go (the hands on approach), however when studying for my Diploma in Management I preferred to listen to the trainer and join in on all of the group discussions. Finding out which main style/s you learn best with can be very beneficial when studying and may save you a whole lot of time, the last thing you want to do is read the textbook cover to cover if you learn best by doing!

There are 3 main learning styles:

  • Visual Learners – these learners tend to learn through seeing. Body language and facial expressions are the key for this learner to fully understand or grasp the content, visual learners also thrive with visual aids such as power points, flip charts or just the good old fashioned white/chalk board
  • Auditory Learners – These learners are more likely to learn through hearing. Listening to lectures and group discussions are how these learners thrive. Auditory learners tend to gain understanding from tone, pitch & speed and often prefer to read things aloud or record sessions to re-listen to later
  • Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners – these learners learn through touch, movement or getting their hands dirty and just simply doing. A great method of learning  for the tactile/kinestheic learner are role plays or simulations

Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences (MI) is a framework for understanding, defining, assessing and developing people’s ability/intelligence. The theory was discovered by Professor Howard Gardener.


Gardener suggests that there are 7 basic human intelligences (Descriptions from Wikipedia):

  • Spatial – This area deals with spatial judgement and the ability to visualize with the mind’s eye.
  • Linguistic – This area has to do with words, spoken or written.
  • Logical-mathematical – This area has to do with logic, abstractions, reasoning and numbers and critical thinking. 
  • Bodily-kinesthetic – The core elements of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are control of one’s bodily motions and the capacity to handle objects skilfully
  • Musical - This area has to do with sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music.
  • Interpersonal - This area has to do with interaction with others.
  • Intrapersonal - This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities.
  • Naturalistic - This area has to do with nurturing and relating information to one’s natural surroundings.


Knowing which style you fall under is a great way to analyse how you learn & think, and knowing this can only help in your day to day and educational life. For trainers or teachers I believe it is highly important for them to find out how their students learn, this way they can use the most appropriate methods when delivering training or setting up their session plans for a class.


There are plenty of quick quizzes and tests out there that you can take that will determine which style most fits you & what that style means. I just took the Edutopia quiz and found out that l learn mainly in the Musical, Intrapersonal & Linguistic styles. Why don’t you take the quiz and find out more about you!