What Is the Naturalistic Learning Style?

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  • 0:00 What Is a Naturalistic…
  • 1:36 How Do They Learn?
  • 2:05 Teaching the…
  • 3:52 Naturalistic Learners…
  • 4:52 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
What kinds of books do you read for fun? Where do you feel most comfortable? Are you a better listener, or talker? These and other questions speak to your learning style--the way you learn best. Learn about one of these styles: naturalistic learning.

What Is a Naturalistic Learner?

All people are different and therefore learn in unique ways. A learning style referrers to an individual's approach to learning based on three things: their strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Although Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences has received much attention since its publication in 1983, the idea of differing learning styles has been around for centuries. Very early scholars noticed children have specific skills and talents. Fast forward to today and Gardner's eight multiple intelligences, the most recent being the naturalistic.

It's important to note a nuanced yet important distinction when using the terms learning style and multiple intelligence. Since Howard Gardner published his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence in 1983, the two concepts have been often confused and used interchangeably. However, as Gardner staunchly advocates, multiple intelligences are NOT learning styles, but rather a model of human intelligences that work together.

The naturalistic learner has the ability to make unique distinctions in the world of nature. For example, a naturalistic learner can easily distinguish between one plant and another or recognize similarities and differences in cloud formations. Much like the kinesthetic learner, naturalistic learners love to be able to touch and hold things. They thrive in environments where they're allowed to feel things and be active participants in activities. They love the outdoors and prefer hands-on experiences.

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