Learning styles: Activist vs. Pragmatic vs. Reflector – What is your style?

By | October 28, 2019

Dear Reader, continuing the idea of the last post, you can find the characteristics of the other three learning styles developed by Honey and Mumford, based on Kolb’s theory in the following paragraphs.

Activists

You are an activist if you actually learn something by doing, by putting into practice. In other words, activists get their hands dirty while diving into something new with both feet first. These learners are open-minded and bias-free (as possible as it can be) to the process of learning and enjoy experiencing novelty.

The endeavours that keep Activists engaged include the following:

  • Brainstorming
  • Puzzles
  • Competitions
  • Role-play
  • Group discussions
  • Problem-solving
  • Board games
  • Feedback
  • Simulation
  • Freedom to act

They feel very alive and in their element, when learning offers a thrilling trial-and-error operation.

Pragmatics

Abstract concepts or even games are irrelevant for you, if you are a pragmatic and you cannot easily find a way to use the abstract content into action in real life. The group of pragmatic learners needs to experiment and try out new ideas and proof if they are actually working.

However, what does work for pragmatics is:

  • Case studies
  • Discussion/debate/arguments
  • Problem-solving
  • Thinking about the applicability of learning
  • Short and simple
  • Follow up
  • Visual elements

Reflectors

A reflector is the person that you usually can notice when you take a break from what you are doing and look around for any observers who are also thinking about what is actually happening. Reflectors gather data first from the side line and from different perspectives, in order to come to a conclusion.

A reflectors bag of tools contains:

  • Questionnaires
  • A well-deserved time out
  • Interviews
  • Indulging on external feedback
  • Much observation
  • Validation of knowledge from experts
  • Finding new solutions

You might think that there are no major differences between the learning styles. Actually, we all use different strategies to cope with learning, depending on the subject, the scope and the ultimate purpose of the learning process. Learning could also be considered inefficient if the goal is not motivating enough. After all, learning is not an easy process and it involves some mental processing, even physical suffering if it comes with the discomfort of sitting long hours in a uncomfortable chair at the library.

Enjoy discovering your own learning characteristics and try out new strategies to keep you wanting more learning experiences!

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