Interpersonal learner and learning styles

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Article by Anna Sukiasyan

Content writer

Published 17 Mar 2022
6 min read
Interpersonal learner and learning styles

Do you know any people that become hyperactive when interacting with others? These people usually try to engage in as many conversations as possible and probably have an interpersonal/ social learning style.

So what does this style stand for?    
 

What is interpersonal learning?

According to the Multiple Intelligences theory, the interpersonal learning style is defined as one of eight learning styles that indicates a person's ability to interact with others. Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist and inventor of the theory, defines the eight types of Multiple Intelligences as the following: Spatial, Bodily/Kinesthetic, Linguistic, Musical, Mathematical/Logical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalist.     
 

People with a solid interpersonal learning style learn best through group activities, clubs, and social gatherings. They are often referred to as leaders as they tend to be good at working with others.    
 

An interpersonal learner also prefers to carry out interactive experiments while being taught. The best way for them to engage in such experiments is to have others participate, as well.     
 

What are Interpersonal Learners' characteristics?

Now that we have learned what social/interpersonal learning stands for, it is time to explore the characteristics that define people with this learning style. Let's categorize them into three defining groups:    
 

Social: As mentioned above, participation in group activities is highly crucial for them. You will hardly ever encounter an introvert whose primary learning style is social/interpersonal. The best way to get a social/interpersonal learner engaged is to allow them to work with other people. 

 

Natural leaders: The term is used to define a person who has qualities that a good leader has. As we have already discovered, social/ interpersonal learners are good at interpreting other people, their tone, non-verbal communication - gestures, which allows them to act accordingly and lead small and large groups of people. 

 

Courageous: Social/interpersonal learners are vocal. They are not afraid to ask questions and state their opinions in any situation. They understand that people have differences, and it is easy for them to understand how people think, feel, and relate to one another.

 

Interpersonal-learners

Seven learning styles

A learning style describes how a person perceives information the best. It is important to remember that while someone may absorb information better through one approach now, after a while, they may learn something better through another practice.

That is why labeling people as having just one learning style might be limiting. A much better way to understand the individuality of learning is by exploring the so-called "multiple intelligences" and learning their characteristics to identify one and increase the learning potential.

 

Below are the seven other learning styles to get familiarized with:    
 

  • Spatial: Spatial-Visual is a learning style that defines a person's ability to understand visual information by observing and analyzing it. They perceive the world in images rather than words and have a natural ability to visualize objects from different perspectives.
  • Bodily/Kinesthetic: Bodily-kinesthetic learning style defines a person's ability to obtain information physically, mainly through body movements. They learn best by doing something and do best when participating in activities or solving problems practically. It is also referred to as the physical or tactile-kinesthetic learning style.
  • Musical: Musical learning style defines a person's ability to think in patterns. They are very sensitive to rhythms and sounds and relationships between sounds. For these people, the best way to acquire knowledge easily is by singing, playing musical instruments, composing, conducting, etc.
  • Linguistics: Linguistic learning style defines a person's ability to learn through linguistic skills, such as reading, writing, listening, or speaking. Verbal-linguistic learning style refers to a person's ability to reason, solve problems, and learn the language.
  • Mathematical/Logical: Logical learning style defines a person's ability to learn through mathematic and linear order, using numbers and abstract visual information. They understand and recognize the patterns and relationships between numbers, actions, or symbols.
  • Intrapersonal: Intrapersonal learning style defines learners who prefer to learn independently. These students are self-motivated, enjoy working independently, and learn best when working alone.
  • Naturalist: The naturalist learning style defines learners who understand the patterns of living things and have scientific reasoning for the world. They can identify, classify and manipulate elements of the environment, objects, animals, and plants.

It is essential to note that being a social learner is a secondary learning style; the primary learning styles include visual, verbal, kinesthetic, auditory, and logical. Make sure to check these other learning styles out to help determine your primary learning style. 

leaning-style

Important methods and strategies

To maximize the social/interpersonal learning potential, there are standard methods and strategies:

  • Aiming to work with as many people as possible    
    Social/interpersonal learners seek to be surrounded with as many people as possible, as they believe some of the most innovative ideas happen when interacting with others.    
     
  • Joining groups or social clubs    
    Joining clubs and groups is an excellent option for social/interpersonal learners, as participants are encouraged to share their opinions on a given topic and engage with others.    
     
  • Finding online communities and forums for discussions    
    Forums are the platforms for social/interpersonal learners to communicate with a bigger audience, including people from different parts of the world.    
     
  • Participating in panel discussions and debates     
    When challenged, social/interpersonal learners will do all it takes to convince people that their opinion is correct. Having an opposing point of view serves as additional motivation to do better.    
     
  • Peer-teaching: reviewing someone's work    
    Social/Interpersonal learners are good at teaching. They will get highly excited if asked to choose one thing they are good at and explain it to others.    
     
  • Role-playing techniques     
    A role-play aims to motivate people to act as if the given situation is a real-life event. Thus, social/interpersonal learners will do their best to get into the role and look at the circumstances from another perspective.

 

To conclude, social/interpersonal is one of 8 learning styles that define our way of obtaining new information. The power of people with a high level of interpersonal intelligence is in communicating with other people. They may be good at leading teams and groups, understanding other people, and resolving conflicts.

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