The VARK Modes of Learning

Learning occurs at many levels and in various manners. There are different ways that your brain processes information during learning. As seen with Metacognition, it can be helpful for you to understand how thinking and learning occurs. This is an area where scientists, psychologists, and educators have endeavored to explore by identifying the modalities (or styles) of learning. One popular theory of learning styles is the VARK model, which distinguishes different regions of the brain that are stimulated during learning: visual, auditory, reading/writing (language) and kinesthetic. Each mode represents areas of your brain that are engaged as learning occurs. Visual stimuli, representing what you see in class, creates activity in the area of your brain that processes observations. Auditory stimuli such as those resulting from what you hear in class impact the region of the brain that processes listening. Reading/Writing stimuli that result from those behaviors activate the brain regions associated with language and communication. Kinesthetic stimuli that are activated by the physical, hands-on activity of your body arouse the part of your brain which processes movement.

No one learning mode should be viewed as being superior over another. Understanding the variations can, however, be useful in recognizing that learning is not limited to one mode of your classroom experience. Your brain does not limit itself to a particular mode nor is your learning guided by inborn tendencies for a learning modality. In your brain, the visual, auditory, language, and kinesthetic sensory areas are highly interconnected. When you hear a noise, not only is the auditory area activated but also the visual and kinesthetic areas. This inter-modal and automatic transfer ensures optimal information processing. [1] [2]

V = Visual Mode of Learning

A = Auditory Mode of Learning

R = Reading/Writing (Language) Mode of Learning

K = Kinesthetic Mode of Learning


  1. Fleming and Mills, (1992) The VARK Modalities, retrieved from: https://vark-learn.com/
  2. Rousseau, Luc, July 15, 2020, Let's Scrap the Neuromyths, retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/lets-scrap-the-neuromyths-no-you-arent-a-visual-or-auditory-person-141957


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