according to Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

Order your book here:
The Way They Learn

Cynthia Ulrich Tobias in her book "The Way They Learn" says that it takes between 3 to 5 years to be able to determine someone's learning style. I would suggest that you read this book IF AT ALL POSSIBLE so that you can more familiarize yourself with the different learning styles I will briefly touch on.

For those of you who need a tape to listen to and from work, TRY AUDIBLE. You can order it here:
The Way They Learn Audible


According to Tobias there are two "perceptional qualities."

Concrete perception:  This perception quality uses the five senses to register information.  The person which possess this perception quality would be a person who only sees the obvious.

Abstract perception:  The person who possesses this quality visualizes things unseen.  It's that person who uses their intuition, or imagination.


IF you read Ms. Tobias' book, you will find the names she gives the learning styles different from what I am about to say.  It doesn't mean either is wrong.  It just means that there is more than one view point.  Ms. Tobias uses the work of Dr. Anthony F. Gregorc.

What I will list below is my own version of what I have observed and research I have done over many years of teaching as well as what I learned while obtaining my Masters Degree.


These are the three main learning types and everyone uses at least one of these as their dominant learning style.  However, most of us do not have one learning style but we combine it with another one.

You can see that there are four different combinations; AL+TL; AL+VL; TL+VL; or a combination of all three styles.

  • The audio learner is one who gathers most of her learning through listening.
  • The tactile learner gains information mainly through touching, building or making things.
  • The visual learners mode of learning is through their eyes.  This person likes to read to learn.

You can order books with CD's like this one here: Books with CD's

The audio/visual learner will want to hear the material at the same time they are reading the material.  This is why some kids love the books on tape/book combinations that are at the library.  This child will also love watching the History Channel, or the Discovery Channel or any number of channels or videos that teach.

The audio/tactile learner will learn best by being taught verbally WHILE doing what is being taught.  For instance, allowing someone to cook while the recipe is being read to them.

The tactile/visual learner will want to see someone make something and then will make it themselves sometimes from just looking at a picture or after watching a video of the object that the student plans to make.

Some children will use all of these modalities interchangeably.  A student who uses all three of these learning styles at one time is the student that won't have any difficulty learning from any teacher.

Leave Ways to Learn

Return to the Site Map

New! Comments

Let me hear from you about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Share this page:
Enjoy this page? LINK TO IT! Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.