Visual Learning Vs. Kinesthetic Learning Essay

Learning is a process where an individual acquires knowledge and skills through experience, schooling or study. It incorporates several processes and can be attained in various ways. Generally, it is innate for human beings to engage in the process of learning in order to know the things and actions that surround them. However, each person employs different ways of learning. The ways in which a person prefers to learn is known as learning style (“Learning styles,” 2008). This paper explores the advantages and disadvantages of two of the most commonly used learning style: the visual learning and kinesthetic learning.

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Visual learning style Visual learning is a method which relies heavily in the use of images such as graphics and pictures as a source of information. According to studies, people who are considered as visual learners must first see things before they could understand a particular topic or subject. Most of the visual learners respond well when presented with diagrams, charts, images, picture books and the likes.

It is also noteworthy that people engaged in visual learning style are able to retort and gain new knowledge on their own by creating visual images of things (Neer, 2008).

Advantages of visual learning style Through empirical studies, researches have proven that visual learning allows people to coordinate and act on things quickly thus it was posted that such learning style helps in building knowledge. It was also stated that the main function of graphics is to create an “information literal space” which help individuals to view patterns and easily create a link between ideas. Likewise, visual learning is capable of distributing large scales of information holistically. For example, a diagram quickly presents structures that allow individuals to compare things accurately.

Visual learning also generates a great display of various level of individual analysis which often results to the communication of ideas (Cegg, 2008). Because visual learners enjoy images, it was suggested that they are efficient in creating pictures of things and are good in imagining situations. Visual learning also helps persons to create visual strategies for remembering information that was accounted for the capability of such learners to view the whole picture during discussions and giving out solutions to a problem or situations (“Learning styles,” 2008). Moreover, visual learning enhances creativity.

The interaction with images entices creative ideas because it is able to tap on the main source of an individual’s innovation. Once the innovative side of a person is touched, linear ideas become holistic and more intuitive. And because seeing things personally could draw unconscious elements, people are able to create various interpretation on a single image based from past experiences (Cegg, 2008). According to Kristina Hooper Woolsey, visual learning functions as the facilitator of synergy among groups. Drawings that contemplate collaboration contain neutral qualities that are effective.

When people focus on the drawing they are able to concentrate on that particular drawing without regarding the differences in the personalities and social dynamics that are around them, thus the attention is centred towards the specifics of the discussion rather than the generalities (Woosely, p. 4 cited in Cegg, 2008 n. p. ) Disadvantages of visual learning style Because of the fact that visual learners are reliant on information drawn through pictures and graphics, it was found out that such learners are in distinct disadvantage though not in all situations.

This is because prevailing preference for the dissemination of information is accounted to verbal and written aspect (“Learning styles,” 2008). Moreover, since visual learning is appearance-centred, people who engage in this type of learning sometimes overlook the actual value of things. They have the tendency to skip on specific details. Visual learning style is said to be passive and is most likely to suffer from the decline of student participation, inattention of other students and sometimes the omission of non-verbal communication (Bonwell, p. 4 cited in Sivilotti & Pike, 2007, p. 1). Kinesthetic learning style

Kinesthetic learning style is a process where students acquire knowledge through active participation in activities that involve physical movement rather than listening to lectures. In this type of learning style, students engage in activities like walking, talking, pointing and working with props. Furthermore, researches presented that kinesthetic learning is an imperative and powerful style of learning that offset the shortcomings of traditional learning (Sivilotti & Pike, 2007, p. 1). Advantages of kinaesthetic learning style According to studies, kinaesthetic learning is useful in the process of assembling and production of products.

It allows learners to easily demonstrate how things are done and is a ground for people to actually enjoy the whole learning experience (“Learning styles,” 2008). Likewise, this type of learning style is well-noted to be an energizer during long lectures which allow students to view new perspective on the topics being discussed. It was also found out that kinaesthetic learning when applied in a regular basis could greatly stimulate the classroom culture interactions that in turn allow students to learn each others names and create a ground for commonalities.

Activities that incorporate kinesthetic learning involve the use of multiple senses, thus the students exposed to the process of assimilation of the materials in school. Moreover, kinesthetic learning helps individuals to be comfortable in asking questions and participate in discussions. Therefore such learning style augments the engagement level of individuals during the whole learning process (Silvotti & Pike, 2007, p. 1). Disadvantages of kinesthetic learning Like visual learning style, kinaesthetic learning also has disadvantages. People who engage in this type of learning have trouble in processing information that is presented verbally.

It is also difficult for them to focus on details that are written in a lengthy format (“Learning styles,” 2008). Moreover, it was believed that kinesthetic style is least considered to be practiced in a typical classroom setting because the movements that are done by several people inside the classroom somehow unsettle the teacher and other students. Since most of the educators nowadays prefer students to remain seated and listen to lectures, such action would be frustrating for kinesthetic learners because they need motion to understand thing.

In some cases, this may eventually lead for kinesthetic learners to shun away from the discussion (Garelick, 2008). In conclusion, both visual and kinesthetic learning styles are an imperative tool to gain knowledge. However, not all individuals practice visual and kinesthetic learning styles. This is because some individuals have their strengths in the utilization of visual learning style while others excel in the kinesthetic learning style. Moreover, the learning styles and preferences of every individual vary from one person to another depending on the situation.

It is worthy to note that, “no single learning style fits everyone. ” (Sivilotti & Pike, 2007, p. 2). Likewise, an individual should focus in understanding his or her learning preferences. By doing so, a person can make the most out of his or her learning potential and would be able to offset the shortcomings of learning styles that one often employ. Based from the findings that were presented, it is suggested that further analysis regarding other learning styles should be taken into consideration in order to clarify some points that were not discussed in the study.


Cegg, E. (2008). “Visual learning: Building knowledge, innovation and collaboration. ” Internet Time. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from http://internettime. com/visual/Visualization-Clegg2. htm. Garelick, K. (2008). “Kinesthetic learners: A homeschool success story. ” Gifted Home Schoolers. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from http://giftedhomeschoolers. org/articles/kinestheticlearner. html Learning styles. (2008). The Open University. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from http://209. 85. 175. 104/search? q=cache:W5YEFs0PxhMJ:www. open2. net/survey/learningstyles/learning_styles.

rtf+disadvantages+of+visual+learning&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1. Learning styles: Learn effectively by understanding your learning preferences. (2008). MindTools. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from http://www. mindtools. com/mnemlsty. html. Neer, K. (2008). How home schooling works. How stuff works. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from http://people. howstuffworks. com/homeschool6. htm Sivilotti, P. & Pike, M. (7-10 March 2007). “The suitability of kinesthetic learning activities for teaching distributed algorithms. ” Covington, Kentucky: ACM Special interest group on computer science education, 1-2.

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