Learning Style Analysis Students

Physiological brain processes determine the combination of personal learning style elements in each human being. In order to simply describe and represent these complex processes and relationships this pyramid model was created.

The LSA Pyramid consists of 49 elements that are clearly arranged in six layers according to brain function and behavior - with brain dominance at the top. This left/right brain dominance is the most important area because brain processes generally affect all other subordinate elements of style.  

The upper four layers contain biological/natural (congenital, relatively stable) style elements and the two lower layers include acquired/conditioned (that is frequently changing) style elements.

How important are biological/natural style elements?

They are particularly active in the development of concentration when reading difficult study texts, doing homework or are involved in the acquisition of new and/or difficult learning material and are grouped into the following layers:

1. Brain Dominance:

Here strategies for analytic as well as holistic information processing are visible plus preferences for a reflective as well as an impulsive/spontaneous thinking style; also showing general analytical or holistic/global tendencies of someone’s personal overall learning style. 

2. Sensory Modalities:

This group is divided into auditory preferences (hearing, listening, speaking, inner dialogue); visual (reading, looking/watching, visualising/imagination), tactile (manipulating, touching) and kinesthetic (doing, feeling) preferences. 

3. Physical Needs:

These include preferences for movement (stationary or movement needed); food intake and oral stimulation (chewing, eating, nibbling, drinking); and for certain times of day (individual bio-rhythm).

4. Environment:

Preferences for sounds and music (silence or noise); light (dim or bright); room temperature (cool or warm); and study area (formal or informal/comfortable) are being described here. 

These preferences and non-preferences (dislikes) grow from childhood onwards, are usually difficult to influence and remain generally stable over a life time. Non-preferences become weaknesses when they have to be used them over longer periods of time. This can lead to frustration, concentration problems, low motivation, and learning difficulties.

For lasting school success is vital that the biological learning needs are met most of the time. Preferences then become personal strengths when they can be used in difficult learning situations and significantly contribute to developing a positive attitude towards learning. When students are allowed to learn THEIR way, they will enjoy studying more and their academic performance will improve. 

The significance of conditioned/learned/acquired elements:

The lower two layers of the LSA Pyramid contain acquired or conditioned style features. These are particularly relevant when young people have to come to terms with rules and regulations in school and at home, to collaborate with classmates, to do homework or have to learn something new and/or difficult. They are grouped in the following way:

5. Social Aspects:

These show whether the young person prefers to work alone, in pairs with a classmate, in a peer group or in a team; with or without an authority figure (teacher, parent or another adult).

6. Attitudes:

This is about motivation (internal/external motivation for learning), persistence (high/systematic or fluctuating/low), conformity (high or low/rebellious), responsibility (high/strong or low), need for structure/guidance (other or self-directed) and variety (need for routine or desire for change).

The results in this area reveal the acquired learning attitudes, the reactions of a student/a young pupil to 'the system' as a whole ans show in which social setting someone can learn best. However, these elements are not stable, they change several times in the course of live and often in the shortest possible time; they often depend on the circumstances, or sometimes even only on the current mood.

What is the meaning of question marks in the Graphs?

The more QUESTION MARKS are visible in a personal profile, the more it is likely that this student:

a) is under stress,

b) is currently experiencing confusion or is undergoing change in these areas,

c) has reading problems, or was confused about the questionnaire (occurs very rarely).

This can lead to behaviour problems, loss of motivation, learning difficulties, underachievement, and ultimately dropping out of formal education. It is important that teachers and parents talk to the student about these areas in their LSA profile and attempt to find out the reasons for these inconsistencies. It is also recommended to redo the analysis in 2-3 months' time when the situation has settled down.

How to interpret question marks? 

Since question marks usually point to problem areas, they are reliable signs of stress, which the young person concerned is currently experiencing. When thinking strategies of a youngster are changing or there are profound upheavals in their environment (family turmoil, moving house, an addition to the family or a death, severe stress, neglect or even abuse), then the number of question marks increases.

The more question marks, the higher uncertainty or stress.

Therefore, a tip for you:

Begin to discuss with your child those style elements that are showing question marks. You will be surprised what problems come to light, because children (particularly teens) often do not talk about problems, because nobody asks them, or because they are not aware of them.

 However, discussing not enough, actions must be set that are possible in the home. You will be surprised how even small changes (for example, in the learning environment) can lead to behavioral changes both in your child as well as in yourself and eventually bring about an overall improvement in academic performance.

Another tip:

Show the LSA profile to the teachers where there are difficulties and request that your child's learning style needs to be considered. For this, use the Teacher Version.

But as long as these personal problems persist, there will be problems at school, especially when students have to work on something requiring concentration. In such a situation, the support of the parents and other trusted adults is most important to the well-being and educational success of young people.

When parents and school work together following LSA recommendations, problems have been solved and learning stress has been consequently reduced, we recommend to create another LSA Profile. You will notice that question marks have reduced or have disappeared altogether. Such a profile is now fully valuable in its explanatory power, which remains valid for about two years, until learning needs change in a natural way.

The Meaningfulness of an LSA profile

If you do not recognize your child in some areas and are surprised by the results – maybe even disappointed, that does not mean that this profile is inaccurate or even wrong! It rather means that during the first responding to the questionnaire the conditioning, meaning the influence of adults is still very strong on a child’s learning and has become an ‘acquired’ learning style. The drama is this: ‘well-intentioned’ learning advice from school teachers and parents have shaped this ‘acquired’ learning style; unfortunately, very often in contrast to the actual, natural learning needs of your child. In this case too, there will be disproportionately many question marks as our experience with thousands of LSA profiles shows.

 Therefore it is important to let students do the LS Analysis every two years, because the younger a child is, the greater the changes are. And as a parent you should always be up to date on the latest learning style needs of your child.

Really important to know:

An LSA Profile is no intelligence test but the results reveal your child's learning potential, even if there are problems in academic subjects, your son or daughter might misbehave at school, refuses to do homework, and finally no longer wants to go to school. 

You know that your child is not stupid, is interested in many things, actually wants to learn, perhaps even had or has private tuition and still does not show constant, good learning performance in some subjects. You may have also heard from various teachers that your child “could do much better” - but is simply “lazy and inattentive/distracted”.

What do you do in such a situation?

  Take the first step - let your child answer the on-line questionnaire for the LSA-Mini Complete.

  Then download the LSA-Mini Profile and discuss the results in your family - that can be a real eye opener for you all (grandparents included)! 

  See finally black on white, that your child indeed has a learning style that does not fit to the teaching methods of some (a few) teachers!!

  This is the true reason for discipline problems and learning difficulties.

  So, you finally have proof in hand that your child can learn and wants to learn, but in his or her own way, if you just let them or allow it.

  In the LSA-Parent Version you’ll find enough advice (perhaps surprising for you) on how to improve the situation at home for all concerned. The learning is no longer a chore - it's fun because the human brain always wants to learn! 

  However, you are aware that it's not enough to create a better learning environment at home, the school is the main factor in the assessment of learning success. This is exactly why there is a full report for teachers in LSA-Mini Complete.

  Now take the bold second step - there is nothing to lose but everything to gain! 

  Make an appointment with the appropriate teachers, take the LSA-Teacher Version, point to the problem areas in the LSA profile and ask them to pay attention to your child’s particularly strong, natural learning needs in class - as far as possible - for achieving better learning outcomes. Also share with them how you are supporting your child’s learning at home now, using the LSA results. 

  An honest talk, based on LSA results, mutual respect and understanding will bring the desired success.

  Product Overview

The instruments are arranged by age groups and reading skills. Select the analysis tool that best fits the abilities of your child.

LSA-Mini Complete

Available in: English, German, Turkish

Condensed version of LSA Junior, with an easy to read questionnaire but in-depth results. For younger students 5-10 years old.

BONUS: Parent & Teacher versions included.  more info

LSA-Junior Complete

Available in: English, German, Spanish, Turkish

Gives detailed information about a child's unique learning needs with specific information for parents & teachers. For learners age 7 - 13.  more info

LSA-Swift Complete

Available in: English

Condensed version of LSA Senior, with a fun questionnaire but in-depth results. For students 14-17 years old.

BONUS: Parent & Teacher Versions included.  more info

LSA-Senior Complete

Available in: English, Finnish, German, Spanish, Norwegian, Turkish

A great help for high school students to achieve better academic results. For students 16-18 years old.

BONUS: Parent & Teacher versions included.   more info 

LSA Interpretation Manual

In-depth explanations of students' learning style combinations.

Recommendations for teaching diverse student groups, improving learning motivation and creating the most appropriate study environment at school. more info