What does VAKT stand for and How do you use VAKT for teaching?


Teaching with VAKT learning styles can make learning easier and more fun!

VAKT stands for “Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Tactile.” The VAKT learning style model is probably the most widely known and explored learning styles model that considers HOW learners learn.

If you are only looking for VAKT teaching acivities,  you can jump over to lists of specific activities to work with your child. Check out the specific tables for Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic, and Tactile teaching.

Otherwise, to FULLY understand how to teach your child using his primary learning style, keep reading:

VAKT Learning: The big picture:

VAKT focuses on the senses as input channels for receiving information into people’s brains.  As individuals, we take in information through seeing things, hearing sounds, doing activities and touching objects.  We also take in information through our senses of smell and taste, but those channels are not overly valuable in concept learning as it relates to academics.

With learning styles-based teaching, we can focus on the sensory input channels as ways in which a child takes in information. In particular, with VAKT, using the sensory channel the child favors will make learning easier for that child.

VAKT Equals efficiency in learning

If you understand your child’s individual VAKT learning style(s) and teach him using VAKT practices, you will probably find your child learns more quickly and is far more engaged in learning.

If you teach in a way that goes against your child’s natural learning preferences, your child may not learn well, may argue and say he hates schooling, and you may have to repeat lessons.

While all learning problems can’t be fixed by focusing on your child’s individual learning style, teaching your child according to his personal learning style(s) removes one barrier to learning. Since VAKT learning styles and teaching is easy to understand and use, it just makes sense to implement the practices when teaching.

Visual Learning Style

When a learner takes in information through his eyes, he processes the information in the visual, picture-oriented center of his brain.  Most aptly shared by Temple Grandin in her book, “Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism,” her way of thinking is entirely visual.

For learners whose strength is in processing visual images, typical teaching through talking, reading, or language-based learning will not bring a high level of learning progress.  Whereas, if teaching is provided through rich imagery, charts, graphs, and other visual depictions of information, then your visual learner will process the information with the greatest efficiency.  Check out our Visual Learners page to learn more about the Visual Learning Style.

Auditory Learning Style

When a learner takes in information through his ears, through lecture, or through reading, the information is language-based in nature because the information must be processed in the language center of the brain. The vast majority of traditional teaching is taught towards an auditory learning style, so if a child has an auditory learning style, any teacher has a  greater ability to find ready-made curricula that meets the needs of an auditory learner.  Check out our Auditory Learners page to learn more about the Auditory Learning Style.

Kinesthetic & Tactile Learning Styles

The least common, and the most problematic in a traditional classroom is the Kinesthetic/Tactile learning style.  Learners who learn best by actively doing things, hands-on activities, and bodily movement are active learners who require modifications of most instructional materials in order to meet their individual needs.  In a traditional classroom, these are the learners who are most likely to be fidgety, in and out of their desks, swinging their legs, and are otherwise unable to “sit still” at the request of their teacher.  When a child has a Kinesthetic/Tactile learning style, if he is not moving, he is not learning.   Check out our Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners page to learn more about the dynamic and fun Kinesthetic/Tactile Learning Style.

Learning Style Explanation Video

For additional information, here is a good explanatory video which discusses each of the primary learning styles along with some tips for working with each learning style:

Learning Styles Inventories

To determine if your child is an Auditory, Visual, or Kinesthetic/Tactile learner, I like this quick and easy assessment best: http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/836-learning-styles-quiz. This assessment is very quick, easily understood by most children, and gives a form of ranked results, letting you know the primary, secondary, and least favored learning styles for your child.

There is also a fairly quick, easy, and free inventory which is a printable PDF at: http://www.njea.org/pdfs/LearningStyleInventory.pdf . This inventory is easy for you to use and gives you a clear, singular result.

Similar inventories, with different questions, can be found at: http://www.whatismylearningstyle.com/learning-style-test-1.html and http://www.whatismylearningstyle.com/learning-style-test-2.html. These two tests are both provided by Piedmont Education Services, but use different testing formats. Use whichever one you prefer.

By using a variety of the tools I have provided for you here, you should be able to assess your child’s learning style with fairly good accuracy.


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