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The Key Influences on the Personal Learning Processes of Individuals

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  • Category: Learning

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There are 3 main learning styles that people use to learn. These are:


Kinesthetic learning is a style in which a person learns through doing. It can be things such as sports, experimentation and drama opposed to listening to someone give a lecture or watching someone perform a demonstration. The best way for a kinaesthetic learner to take in information is by activities that involve touching, feeling, holding, doing, and practical experiences.

Kinesthetic learners often fidget, move their legs alot or tap their feet, which can then lead them to be labelled as hyperactive. Also, they can be good in active jobs such as actors, musician, dancer or athletes and work well with their hands. They may be good at repairing work, sculpting, art, or working with various tools.


Auditory learning is a style in which a person learns by listening. Its mainly listening to someone talk in lectures, speeches, and oral sessions although they must be able to hear exactly what is being said to understand completely. They have difficulty understanding instructions that are written.

Because auditory learners have brilliant listening skills, the best career choices for them would be along the lines of a pathologist, disc jockey (DJ), and musician.


Visual learners work best by seeing things, over hearing someone talk about them or creating something. Someone that is a visual learner prefers information to be given to them in the form of a chart or pictures, and are good at remembering visual objects or signs such as sign language and colours. They also like to make lists, outline the important parts of documents heavily to catch the eye and can also draw and read maps very well.

Visual learners would excel best in jobs such as architects, engineers, and surgeons, and any jobs that have a good view for the future.

5 Influences on Learning

Kolb and Honey and Mumford created 2 learning theories to help people understand how they learn. One way of learning is to learn from experience. The easiest way to learn from experience is by following Kolb’s Experimental Learning Cycle below. The four different stages represent the learning sequence showing it has to be followed in order and completely finished for effective learning to have taken place. Also, because the cycle is consecutive, you can start at any one point as long as it is completed. (Stretch, B, Whitehouse, M. 2007)

Concrete Experience is the stage where you participate in the action.

Reflective Observation is when you reflect over what you have done or seen in the last stage.

Abstract Conceptualization is when you conclude what you have reflected upon, putting your thoughts and experiences into an order.
Active Experimentation is when you plan the action, but most importantly change what you have already learned showing you have learned from your experience. (Stretch, B, Whitehouse, M. 2007)

Honey and Mumford’s learning theory is a set of 4 styles that show how different people learn. Each style helps identify how a person prefers to learn and what ways they don’t like. The 4 styles are called Activists; which like to be involved and dominate over tasks and new ideas. Reflectors; that prefer to observe before they contribute to tasks, thinking about all the possibilities. Theorists; prefer to think over things logically and create new ideas that fit into an orderly pattern. They can also be detached and unemotional. The final style is Pragmatist. These like to experiment and get praised from others, whilst relating things to themselves. (Stretch, B, Whitehouse, M. 2007)

There are many things that can have an effect on your learning, some positive and some negative. Some examples of these can be:

Environment – If the environment is noisy, people can find it harder to concentrate, making it difficult to complete Kolb’s Learning Cycle, struggling mostly on the reflective observation stage as they wouldn’t be able to concentrate enough to reflect.

Learning disability such as Down’s Syndrome – When a person has down’s syndrome they find it hard to think abstractly, causing problems for them when on the abstract conceptualization stage, making them unable to conclude what they have learnt and forgetting new information.

Peers – Peers can affect each other’s learning according to Honey and Mumford’s learning styles. An example of this is if a Activist and a Reflector where paired together to do a piece of work, their learning styles would clash together and the reflector would find it hard to communicate their ideas across.

Motivation – Whether or not a person is motivated to do something matters extremely and can determine if they do the concrete experience action or not. Having no motivation to do something makes it difficult to go ahead and do it anyway, making it impossible to complete the learning cycle.

Time – Kolb’s cycle can be time consuming, and not having enough time to complete the cycle can make it difficult for a person to learn from experience.

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