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Learning Styles: Solitary-Intrapersonal

Explanations and strategies for different types of learning styles.


Are you a Solitary learner?

Is this the way you feel?

  • Do you find that you can think best when you are not distracted by others?
  • Have you ever found yourself retreating to a quiet place when it is time to study?
  • Have you ever turned down an invitation to study with a group?
  • Do you consider yourself to be introspective – aware of your own thoughts and feelings?
  • Do you keep a journal or other private log?  
  • Contrary to popular beliefs, people with a solitary learning style are not necessarily "loners."
  • In fact they may really enjoy being around others and have many friends. But when it comes time to mentally focus on a task such as studying for a test, people with a solitary learning style feel more natural and can be more productive when alone.

Solitary learners are often typified as being "thinkers."

Solitary learners enjoy a peaceful and quiet moment alone with their thoughts. Because of this, they are typically aware of their own thoughts and emotions.

They often are highly motivated because they take time to assess their own accomplishments and goals.

A person with a solitary learning style may often say these phrases:

  • I just need to get away for a while.
  • I need some time to think it over.
  • I need some "me" time.
  • Silence is golden. (Accessed 19 Mar 2013)

Strategies for the Solitary Learner

Implications for learning

First of all recognize that there are no "right" or "wrong" learning styles.

A wise person knows their own preferences and is confident in defending their choices.

Express to your friends that it just feels more natural for you to study alone, and you appreciate their understanding of that.

If learning alone feels most natural for you, then plan time to be alone as a part of your educational activities.

You may also need to plan for a space which is free from distractions.

Being alone can have advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage of being able to focus more may be cancelled by the disadvantage of the lack of accountability.

Even if you are a solitary learner, it is good to share your progress with another person so that they can help to keep you motivated.

While your "study partner" may not be physically there with you as you study, they can check in on you to make sure that you are staying on task.

If, while studying, you find that you do not understand something, don't spend too much time trying to "figure it out for yourself."

Don't hesitate to call someone else such as a classmate or the instructor. This may prevent you from wasting considerable time.

Resist the temptation to use your alone time which should be used for studying for other pleasures such as sleeping, TV, or surfing the net.

Keeping a journal of the amount of time that you spend actually studying may be a beneficial exercise.

Take advantage of the fact that you are alone.

This may allow you to talk out loud to yourself as you are studying.

You may also find it useful to even role play situations by yourself.

You can also use the private time to strengthen your aural learning styles by putting course content to music and singing the songs to yourself to help you remember the information.


You Are an Intrapersonal Learner

Your mantra: To thy own self be true.

Intrapersonal intelligence has been said to be the road to achievement, learning, and personal satisfaction. You are connected to who you are and how you feel, and you know your own limits and abilities. You often set goals for yourself, self-manage, and reflect on results.

Those with intrapersonal intelligence do well in careers where self-management is important, such as being a writer, a teacher, a counselor, a police officer, or a pilot.

Tips for the way you learn:

  • Study alone in a comfortable yet quiet environment.
  • Set goals for yourself, and monitor your progress regularly.
  • Reflect on what you have learned, and think through new material.
  • Create a connection between new material and subjects you already know, and gain understanding by finding their similarities.