Learning Preferences: Which Way to Go?

Many people think that learning styles are a myth. Actually the word ‘styles’ is being misused here.

I believe that in my many years of experience as a teacher, school leader, educational coach, publisher, content architect and e-learning specialist, ways of learning do have reasons to exist.

Those who oppose think that learners are confined to just one way of learning for all subjects and for the rest of their lives. That exacly is the myth since you learn using a mix of ways of learning.

As a learner, no matter what age, you have preferences. That’s it.

One of the most important tasks of the primary school is to help pupils to explore, define and evaluate their ways of learning. In the past schools got bombed big time by the ‘new’ insight of  ‘learn to learn’.

When I saw how schools implemented  this new insight, it almost always had to do with ‘planning homework’ which is a very narrow interpretation. No stones thrown as at that time it seemed logical.

In the 21st century this is no longer acceptable.

Learn to learn starts with getting to know why and how you learn best. You have preferences on how you easily ‘absorb’ and process knowledge in order to invoke it in a fast and efficient way.

The ways of learning are just a shuttle.

‘Having knowledge’ will remain important but more than ever it will be key to ‘what you can learn’.


Karel Overlaet is a family man, Senior Business Development Manager, creator of bingel (European market leading e-learning platform), owner of Medianaut, chairman Varen voor Autisme vzw (npo), nautical journalist and photographer, passionate about RIBs. karel@medianaut.be – Berchem – Belgium

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