Although Honey and Mumford always advocated that individuals are best equipped to learn from a variety of different experiences if they have more or less equal preferences for all four learning styles, the fact remains that people do favour one or two of these styles above the others.
If a learner leans towards the Empiricist (Activist) style of learning, I’m pretty confident you’ll recognize him/her almost immediately: he/she is the first to volunteer answers and ideas, with no thought for correct use of the language or implications. They tend to be warm and engaging and do brighten up a class. If properly guided, can be instrumental in assisting the trainer. Because of their outgoing nature they make connections easily, so they help promote team spirit and group work.
As trainers, we need to understand how best to use the positive aspects of this learning style, while at the same time, being aware of possible stressors and obstacles to learning.
Empiricists (Activists) learn best when:
Empiricists (Activists) learn least when:
Empiricists need to learn to curb their exuberance and introduce some reflectiveness into their learning. Acting without thinking may result in wasted time and opportunities. So, while not stifling the spontaneity and intuition of these learners, I find it’s vital to combine these traits with method and analytical skills for more productive and efficient learning.
Moreover, it’s crucial not to allow Empiricists to take over activities and tasks, to allow time and opportunity for others to participate too. These learners can actually assist the trainer with shier, more withdrawn students, helping them take calculated risks and volunteer ideas.