Kinesthetic learning style: definition, strategies and benefits

The kinesthetic learning style is based on real-life experiences and hands-on activities where build and create things.  A kinesthetic learner...

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Kinesthetic learning style: definition, strategies and benefits

The kinesthetic learning style is based on real-life experiences and hands-on activities where build and create things. 

A kinesthetic learner is considered a hands-on learner who is able to understand and retain information about the subject matter through active and physical participation. 

To learn more about this learning style, in this article we will tell you what it is, the strategies involved and the benefits it has for the learner. 

Kinesthetic learning style: definition, strategies and benefits

What is kinesthetic learning? 

Kinesthetic learning is a type of learning in which learners focus on physical activity and hands-on experiences as part of the process of learning and understanding information.

Kinesthetic learners are active and they prefer learning by doing and experiencing rather than learning by listening or reading. 

Kinesthetic learning is also known as tactile, hands-on or physical learning and is part of the VARK model developed by Neil Fleming.

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In the VARK model, learners are classified into these four categories according to their ideal learning method:

  1. Visual. The student learns through diagrams, pictures or videos. In other words, they rely on visual aids to develop the knowledge process. 
  2. Auditory. They learn through lectures, discussions, podcasts, webinars or the like. The student is assisted by listening to the material for a better understanding. 
  3. Reading/Writing. The student receives the information to learn through articles and books. The formative support comes from the written material related to the topic to be studied. 
  4. Kinesthetic. Learning occurs through hands-on activities and physical experiences that immerse the student in the reality of the subject matter.
12 kinesthetic learning strategies

12 kinesthetic learning strategies 

Building on the basics we mentioned earlier, such as physical activity and making things, some of the most common kinesthetic learning strategies options are the following:

  1. Role-playing. Role-playing helps students connect with the content and learn through interpretation, experiencing firsthand the sensations and realities of each thematic scenario. 
  2. Create simulations. In simulations, the learner creates situations or scenarios that replicate real-life events for practice, learning, evaluation, testing or knowledge acquisition.
  3. Experiment. Experiments allow learners to explore new concepts through trial and error. They also develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills thanks to these actions. 
  4. Learning through movement. It’s proven that movement helps increase concentration, verbal memory, alertness, attention and motivation. But not only that, it also has a positive impact on vocabulary retention and comprehension. 
  5. Enjoy sports and exercise. Dancing, martial arts or yoga are activities that are recommended for kinesthetic learning because they teach discipline, strategy and how to put actions and body movements into practice.
  6. Gesticulate and speak expressively with your hands. This simple action helps to express ideas in movement and to think unconsciously about how to express those ideas.
  7. Take notes and jottings. This is an excellent way to retain more information because the simple exercise of writing helps improve concentration. 
  8. Use flash cards. They are also called learning cards and they are commonly used to refresh memory with simple hints. 
  9. Microlearning classes. Group activities and teamwork with practical applications of theoretical concepts help students grasp, understand and retain new knowledge. These activities are focused not only in the students to learn but in teaching others as well.
  10. Travel and organize excursions and classes abroad. Learning becomes easier and more understandable when its applications are seen in real life. Therefore, taking advantage of the opportunity to extract knowledge from nature itself or from an unfamiliar place is a kinesthetic strategy that works great.
  11. Link the study to an activity. For a kinesthetic learner, sitting and studying is not the right way to learn. However, walking, running, standing, bouncing a ball, etc. may be the best way to get the most out of learning.  
  12. Learn from breaks. Taking frequent breaks while studying helps to maintain concentration and relax the mind. On the contrary, spending too much time on the same activity can end up being counterproductive and work against creativity and concentration.
Kinesthetic learning is a type of learning

16 advantages of kinesthetic learning in education 

There are many benefits of the kinesthetic learning style in learning environments.

To make it clearer, we have compiled a list of 16 benefits of great relevance that we list below:

  1. Improves comprehension and retention.  
  2. Enhances motor skills. 
  3. Strengthens and develops social skills.
  4. Gives a higher position to critical thinking.
  5. Promotes creativity.
  6. Helps improve coordination and balance.
  7. Improves the position of spatial awareness. 
  8. Stimulates brain function.
  9. Upgrades memory.
  10. Develops problem-solving skills.
  11. Helps integrate sensory information.
  12. Strengthens muscle memory.
  13. Encourages greater involvement.
  14. Supports students to take risks more naturally. 
  15. Provides greater independence and self-confidence.
  16. Strengthens study and work relationships.  

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