Addressing Learning Styles (Part 2)

In Part 1, we discussed the first of the four learning styles, the Active Learner. Today we will explore the second learning style.

2. The Pensive Learner*

The Pensiver Learner is the one who can read the book or read the document and substantially get it. They learn by study. In fact, this type of learning style is the most successful in a college setting because college is primarily taught in a pensive manner. Engineers are often Pensive Learners, because to be successful in engineering you have to be able to understand and apply formulas that aren’t something you can hold in your hand and examine.

For a Pensive Learner, it is essential that any information presented pertaining to the task or activity be accurate. While this is necessary for all learning styles, the Pensive Learner will have the most difficulty re-learning something if they were taught it wrong the first time.

Procedures and the Pensive Learner: of the four learning styles, written procedures may benefit the Pensive Learner more than they benefit the other three. That is because the Pensive Learner will gain the greatest understanding from reading the procedure.

The key to an effective procedure for the Pensive Learner is accuracy. The procedure must describe all aspects of the task as correctly as possible. The second key is being concise. When describing components, and especially when describing task steps, be brief and to-the-point. The third key is to be complete. Do not leave out any pertinent details, or else the hands-on portion of the training will lead to as many questions as answers.

* The term “Pensive” may seem a little “out there,” but I chose the term so that the ending of this learning style would align with the ending of the other three learning styles (it led to a point I made when discussing learning styles while presenting my training skills course. The word pensive means thoughtful, so in essence I am discussing a “thinking” learner. And, despite my love of horse racing, choosing the term had nothing to with Pensive being the name of the winner of the 1944 Kentucky Derby.

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About Tim James "Mr. Procedure"

A communicator; all-purpose capability in writing, designing and presenting training for all facets of organizational function. While my focus has been manufacturing, my training/development experience includes supervisory and lead person development, audit processes, continuous improvement and Lean, and Quality Management System implementation.
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