The VARK Model of Teaching Strategies

Are you familiar with the VARK model of Student Learning and the teaching strategies contained therein? Perhaps you’re not familiar with it, or perhaps you need a refresher on it. Either way, today on, we spell out the VARK teaching strategies and how they can transform your class.

For the uninitiated, VARK stands for four learning modalities -- Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic teaching strategies. By way of explanation, frequent frequent contributing writer Jacqui Murray, who is also a veteran tech teacher based in Northern California, looks at VARK and how to carry it out.

Here’s how she explains to get started with VARK: “Start with an open-minded assessment of the student's learning style using the VARK questionnaire or one of several other learning style inventories. The goal is to uncover how the student learns best. At the end of the VARK questionnaire, students get a report that analyzes their answers and draws conclusions as to what their best learning style is. Students use these results to understand their preferred modality and, in a bigger sense, come to terms with why learning challenges they've faced in the past have less to do with their intelligence and more with how the knowledge was presented. Follow up this written report with varied activities from all four modalities and pay close attention to the types of intelligence students display as they complete tasks.”

Jacqui sums up her article like this: “Now, after more than a decade of teaching in a manner that addresses student personal learning styles, I can see that the time invested up front quickly paid off in student success. And once I learned to structure lessons that meet students where they learn, it actually saved time in not having to re-explain, provide after-school tutoring, and discuss with them and their parents why they didn't do well when we all knew they were smart enough.

Have you had a similar experience? Or a different one? We'd love to hear from you. Share with us in the comment section of this article!