The Kinaesthetic Learning Style - Characteristics and Study Strategies

Have you ever seen someone scribbling in their notebook while the teacher is explaining an idea or concept in class? You may have wondered if they were completely absent from the room, but what if I told you that they could have been listening 'attentively' while moving around to help them retain information better? This is because learning, as a collection of cognitive processes, does not happen uniformly across individuals. Although different people may learn and remember the same information, they do so in various ways. Today's post will unpack the Kinaesthetic Learning Style -  Characteristics and Study Strategies to assist you in identifying how best you learn and what you can do to maximise your academic potential.


If you find that you do not identify as a kinaesthetic learner, as a series on disparate learning styles, we have already unpacked the visual learning style and the auditory learning style in antecedent posts. 

What is Kinaesthetic Learning?

Although you can read and listen to instructions or explanations of knowledge systems, kinaesthetic learners learn more effectively through the process of 'doing'. Even though a child can read about learning to ride a bike, actually doing it improves their ability to do so. Thus, kinaesthetic learning is defined as engaging in physical activities that improve one's comprehension of something and enable effective information retention by involving one's body. 


What conclusions can be drawn from the information presented above? To understand, remember, and apply the knowledge you are exposed to as a kinaesthetic learner, you must actively participate in the learning process. Furthermore, practical knowledge requires you to physically touch and move, making this form of knowledge easier to remember than theoretical concepts. As a kinaesthetic learner, you may benefit more from classes that include practical examples in the curriculum than from types that only involve lecturing. Thus, it can be argued that doodling or scribbling in a textbook when learning theoretical concepts are motion techniques that help kinaesthetic learners recall information better.

Strengths of Kinaesthetic Learners

Understanding your strengths as a kinaesthetic learner can help you navigate learning experiences' unique challenges and help produce better learning outcomes.


Here are some strengths you may possess as a kinaesthetic learner:


🧑‍🔬Increased comprehension through physical activities.

🚴Increased learning through movement helps retain information over extended periods. 

💬Demonstrate excellent creative thinking abilities.

🎭Tend to excel in performing arts.

🧩Excel in problem-solving (for example, complex puzzles and completing mazes). 

🧠Active participation in processes to gain knowledge.

🔍Adept at observations.

☝️Increased internalisation and response to sign and hand gestures (tend to be good at sign language).

🧪Excellent at conducting experiments. 

🏀Great eye-hand coordination, tend to excel in handball sports.

Interesting scientific fact: 

According to brain research, cognitive processing and development are inextricably linked to movement. Researchers argue that motor processes help increase the amount of oxygen in your blood, improving blood flow to important regions of the brain, such as the visual, vestibular, locomotor, and cardiorespiratory regions. Accordingly, physical activity enhances cognitive performance, enabling you to learn and apply information more effectively.

Kinaesthetic Study Strategies

Regardless of your learning style, it is crucial to understand that every learner will have a distinct set of strengths and weaknesses. The following section will describe a few study strategies you can use as a kinaesthetic learner to improve your academic success chances. To determine whether these suggestions can help you comprehend, remember, and apply information more effectively, we encourage you to try them. 


Use tactile materials:


While tactile materials are popular with young children and visually impaired learners, you can benefit from using computer-based solutions to accelerate your learning. Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw are examples of really great software packages that you can use to outline maps and create diagrams, charts, storyboards, and line drawings. 


It's critical to remember that the main goal here is to develop and improve study strategies that will improve your academic performance significantly. Hence, don't spend too much time focusing on computer-based tools that you end up neglecting the actual studying process.

Make flashcards:


The physical act of making flashcards may help stimulate your brain and improve information retention. Your brain responds best to moving objects, so making flashcards to study can help you develop a moving schematic that your brain might find more appealing than words on a page.


Use highlighters: 


Another way to develop a moving schematic is to use coloured markers to highlight or underline key information in sentences of text. Your brain will be able to distinguish which information is more important by using coloured markers.


Use interactive approaches: 


Kinaesthetic learning is not always possible in a traditional classroom setting. If most of the class time is spent with the teacher lecturing and the students listening, you will likely become bored and face learning barriers. Similarly, studying cannot be limited to the traditional study methods of repetitive reading and writing. Consider studying with other students who share your academic interests and goals, and with whom you can engage in interactive learning regularly. With interactive learning, students take turns explaining concepts or processes and getting critical feedback from each other. Another strategy for facilitating interactive learning is for one student to describe a scientific concept, process, or function while the other student creates a visual representation of it. The goal is to include as many interactive learning opportunities as possible, involving various activities.


The following are some of the advantages of interactive learning:


  • You will encounter different ways of thinking and learning.
  • As you teach and learn from one another, you reinforce information.
  • You can develop and strengthen your understanding by teaching others.
  • They make you aware of any areas that need improvement or clarification. 
  • Engaging in a variety of movement-based activities will improve your cognitive performance.


Try introducing rhythmic motions: 


In kinaesthetic learning, rhythmic movements like hand clapping or finger snapping when reading or practising maths facts can help with information recollection. We recommend introducing rhythmic motions that are not too loud since this can inhibit your ability to remember information. Consider alternatives if the suggestions stipulated above prove to be too loud.


Move your body:


As we saw earlier in the post, kinaesthetic learning must involve movement to learn effectively, and the same is true for the exercise of studying. You may have a designated study area in your home, but a change of scenery is recommended from time to time. If you don't have another place to study, consider standing instead of sitting at your desk while revising. Try going for a short walk during your longer breaks, and for shorter breaks, you can do jumping jacks or leg stretches, whatever you fancy. Just make an effort to move your body to keep blood flowing into your brain.

Support for Kinaesthetic Learners

It is common for students to reach a point in their academic careers where they believe they have tried everything possible to improve their academic performance. Maybe you have been trying to improve your overall grade average or have had difficulty upgrading your grade in one subject. If this sounds like you, we suggest enlisting the help of a professional. You will learn most effectively when you receive individualised instruction from a subject-matter expert who is acquainted with different instructional techniques and incorporates various activities.  Individually tailored instruction will assist you in overcoming learning challenges, navigating learning expectations, and achieving learning objectives. This will result in improved comprehension, memory recall, and ability to apply consolidated knowledge. 


An example of excellent kinaesthetic learning support:


  • Include various modes of instruction. Lecturing, experiments, projects, pair-reading, roleplaying, presentations, testing and feedback, problem-solving tasks, and instrumentalising all four learning skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking). 
  • Incorporate movement tasks. You don’t have to sit at a desk to study effectively.  You are encouraged to engage in repetitive movements to help you refocus, comprehend and retain information. In addition, in between learning sessions, you are given tasks such as short quizzes, or subject-specific crossword puzzles. 
  • Break longer sessions into smaller chunks. Scheduling more breaks allows you to move around and stretch your muscles for motor processing. 
  • Use of tactical materials and resources. Eye-hand coordination usage in creating study materials such as flashcards and diagrams. Where you are encouraged to use software programmes that simplify ordering study notes.
  • Employ mnemonic Devices. A mnemonic device is a method used to improve memory. An example is, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction) to remember the order of operations to solve a maths equation. Furthermore, get advice on how to come up with other mnemonics that are relevant to your subjects. 

How Can Teach Me 2 Help?

Teach Me 2 offers best-in-class tutoring in all high school subjects and only hires tutors who have achieved distinctions in the subjects for which they have been approved to teach. A tutor can help you improve your exam writing skills and maximise your learning potential. We offer two modes of one-to-one tutoring: online and in-person. All Teach Me 2 tutors have been thoroughly vetted, meaning they have undergone criminal background checks and their academic credentials verified. Therefore, you can learn with ease and assurance of the quality of academic support we provide. 

Click here to find your perfect tutor and start lessons in no time! 

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