A learning style is the way someone prefers to learn and retain information. A person may also develop a certain learning style because of neurological make-up or previous experience. Pragmatic learners are practical and logical and prefer concepts they can apply directly to the task at hand and have immediate, obvious benefits. They are impatient when it comes to lengthy explanations or discussions.
Strengths and weaknesses
The pragmatist is a businesslike and logical learner who puts tasks and techniques into practice. Their learning style, like their work ethic, is quick and efficient. These advantages are offset by some disadvantages. They become confused by or tend to disregard theories or ideas with no obvious or immediate application. They focus on tasks instead of people, which connects to their impatience with discussion or "waffling" between one conclusion or another.
Testing and assessment, which produce tangible results like numbers, is part of the pragmatist's need for practical information. For example, if a pragmatist is learning a language, he will gauge his skill by how much he can express based on necessity and daily routines. Self-evaluation also clearly illustrates to the pragmatist his strong and weak areas and how fast he is learning. This kind of logical measurement also helps motivate pragmatic learners.
Grouping, re-combination and deduction
Grouping items based on something they have in common is one way the brain organises information and is a key to understanding the learning styles of pragmatists. This is connected to recombination; a pragmatist learns new things by grouping them with concepts with which she is already familiar. The pragmatist's talent for deduction logically follows, which is the process of using rules and applied knowledge to draw a conclusion and formulate a plan of action.
Audio learning and repetition
Pragmatists are audio learners, meaning they learn by sounds and the repetition of those sounds. In the language-learning classroom, exercises, often known as "drills," use sounds and the repetition of sounds. Pragmatists like to make the sound themselves, hear it on a recording (or record themselves) and then play that sound back to check their pronunciation. Singing or reciting things in the form of poetry, connects to audio learning and is another valuable tool for the pragmatic learner.
- Understanding your learning style; University of Southampton, 2003
- Center for Independent Language Learning: Learning styles
- Excellence Gateway: Introduction to learning styles
- Getty Images