What Is Kinesthetic Learning?- All You Need To Know

Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Editorial Team

If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn- said Ignacio Estrada. Before comprehending what learning style a student prefers, do you know that there are four distinct learning styles that individuals can choose from? Among these, kinesthetic learning stands out in some instances, as it employs the entire bodily movement in the learning process.  Incidentally, what precisely is Kinesthetic learning? How did it arise? We will look into relevant insights in this post to make you comprehend all about this learning style. 

To make pedagogies enticing and easy to absorb, many new advancements have been drawn in to prove effective in disentangling coaching. Are there any latest advancements in proprioceptive learning style? We will also dive into relevant latest evolutions in this domain. 

Kinesthetic learning- More than multisensory learning!

If the learner yearns to touch the object to learn about it and takes off video or classroom lectures, they are probably Kinesthetic learners. By definition, the Kinesthetic Learning style is an idiosyncratic learning style in which the learner touches and feels the entity to learn about it, stipulating hand-eye coordination and finer learning.

Kinesthetic learner

By definition, some may confuse it with multisensory learning. Kinesthetic learners often want to get indulged in the task to learn about it. Consequently, these tactile learners are fond of fieldwork and projects. Manipulatives can be great associates when the corporeal preferring individuals can’t access real-life examples. To encapsulate, such corporeal learning incorporates touching, doing, experiencing, and accordingly being physically active to discern notions. 

Tactile learning- Traversing into its antiquity

While proprioceptive learning is evident in people of all ages, Mary Ann Brehm[1] outlined how the learning style was first mentioned by Margaret H’Doubler in 1940. She defined the concept as the ability to express the self through dance and other movements. Nonetheless, It was officially mentioned in chapter 24[2] of the book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner. In this book, the concept of Kinesthetic intelligence was discussed along with tactile abilities, defining it to be the use of the body to create or do something. 

In 1984, David Kolb, in his book Kolb Learning Style Inventory, came up with a learning experiment that works on two hierarchical levels: The four-stage cycle and four learning styles based on the learner’s cognitive processes. The kinesthetic learning style was one of these that later got popularity with more such pupils coming to the limelight.

Traits of kinesthetic learners- What are they like?

kinesthetic learners check minute details

Aspirants opting for corporal learning, as you know, prefer to get indulged in physical activities. Apart from this, there are a few other attributes that can distinguish kinesthetic learners from others. Exploring these qualities can also assist others in realizing how proprioceptive learning works. 

  • Kinesthetic learners often like to get indulged in hands-on activities. Rather than writing ‘A’ on paper, they prefer to make an ‘A’ shape with play dough. Further, they like playing hopping numbers instead of reciting them in class.
  • Such pupils are oftentimes focused on what they do. They dive into an imaginary world around the subject they are learning, ensuring better training.
  • These students are often good planners. Preferring to try new activities, they plan things beforehand to make the best of it 
  • As they like to touch and observe the object before coming to personalized inferences, Corporal aspirants notice minute details.
  • They often believe in gestures; they move their hands to facilitate better communication.

Proprioceptive learning- A style that proved effective

The above-depicted attributes can furnish a person with some edges mentally and physically. For instance, they like to participate in dance, drama, and experiments, removing stage fears. Here are some other benefits that kinesthetic learning ensures for all those who are not tactile learners. 

  • Ensures cognition by stipulating good hand-eye coordination
  • Plumping for sports, they often are a great team player and often a good social being
  • Such learning styles often create a logical bond between concepts and languages, ensuring a good vocabulary. 
  • This style lets you educate about various cultures, ensuring you are social with peers and neighbors. 

Learning corporeally- What are the catches?

Witnessing a number of edges while being a kinesthetic learner, one must also apprehend possible catches in the expedition.  These can be managed effortlessly; nevertheless, exploring them becomes obligatory. 

  • They take off from monotony. Corporal learners are not classroom-friendly; they get bored in long lectures.
  • Proprioceptive learners often prefer pragmatic learning over listening. They choose grasping by self-exploring the facts. Consequently, they learn the essence irrespective of stipulated instructions.
  • Kinesthetic learners are often not good spellers.
  • Being Pragmatic learners, they often don’t prioritize reading. They would like to go out and try that out instead. 

The science behind kinesthetic training

Gardmer[3] outlined that the brain learns the best and retains the most when the person is actively involved in exploring physical sites and materials and asking questions to which it actually craves answers. Merely, passive experiences tend to attenuate and have little lasting. These observations may prove that brains can be efficient while one is indulged in activities, pointing out kinesthetic pedagogies as prime picks. 

Looking into the science behind the same- it is found[4] that the cerebellum acts towards coordination of movements when there are motor movements. Apart from this, the basal ganglia and cerebral cortex also work towards memory retention[5]. Firstly, Basal Ganglia collects sensory information when the body is active and is sent to the cerebral cortex to store and process. Accordingly, Cerebellum retains the information, ensuring balance and coordination. 

Latest headways in kinesthetic learning

To make living simpler, advancements in research are obligatory not only at a personal level but also to ameliorate processes at business levels. These look towards enhanced productivity and efficiency. Some latest findings regarding kinesthetic learning probably support its implementation of a cut above all instructors and aspirants.  Here are a few mentions in this context:

1. Augmented Reality 

Alternative reality can be considered as the potential bridge between virtual and real-life environments. The edge here is the scope of further engaging learning experiences. Muhammad Zahid Iqbal[6] remarks on the use of touchless hand interaction technology and machine learning agents. His research aimed to address this gap by exploring these underutilized technologies to demonstrate the efficiency of AR learning.

It explores the different hand-tracking APIs to integrate the virtual hand interaction, testing the devices’ compatibility with these APIs and integrating machine learning agents using reinforcement learning to develop an AR learning framework that can provide more productive and interactive learning. 

Augmented reality (AR)

2. Combination With Self-Explaining and Retention 

Kinesthetic learning can often be personal, combined with self-explaining, which can lead to better retaining of information. Not being a greater reader, kinesthetic learners can opt for a computer-based cognitive tutor, which facilitates self-explaining.

In an experiment made by Vincent Aleven[7], it was found that students who explained their steps during problem-solving practice with a Cognitive Tutor learned with greater understanding compared to students who did not explain steps, showing the effect of this self-expounding can ensure refined learning. 

3. The Advent of Kinect

Games have been evolving to improve the player experience. To take augmented reality to the next level, a device known as Kinect was released in 2010. It is a line of motion-sensing input devices used to take gaming to the next level. With RGB and infrared projectors, it can sense the depth and movement of objects or persons moving in real-time. Fascinatingly, it later showed its value in edifying concepts like graphs to students by a kinesthetic approach of inferring exponential hand movements[8].

Concluding thoughts

For some people, traditional learning can be befitting, while the kinesthetic approach can be preferred by some others. Accordingly, coming into general manifestation is often not desirable. Further, anyone can opt for kinesthetic learning evaluating if the notion needs such pedagogies. Apprehending pros and cons can make out unfounded perceptions of tactile style.

The latest advancements in this domain can depict the future of such a style due to its engaging and interactive nature.  Explore the above insights to determine if your little one is a kinesthetic learner to look into relative strategies to preach.  Moreover, you can also decide if you can look into this style of training for certain subjects if you feel it appropriate. 


  1. Creative Dance for Learning: The Kinesthetic Link. (2011). Mary Ann Brehm.
  2. Davis, Katie & Christodoulou, Joanna & Seider, Scott & Gardner, Howard. (2011). The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
  3. The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts and Standardized Tests, the K-12 Education that Every Child Deserves. (2000, December). Barlow, Dudley.
  4. Paulin, M. G. (1993). The role of the cerebellum in motor control and perception. Brain Behavior and Evolution, 41(1), 39–50. https://doi.org/10.1159/000113822
  5. Grahn, J. A., Parkinson, J. A., & Owen, A. M. (2009). The role of the basal ganglia in learning and memory: Neuropsychological studies. Behavioural Brain Research, 199(1), 53-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2008.11.020
  6. Investigating challenges and opportunities of the touchless hand interaction and machine learning agents to support kinesthetic learning in augmented reality. (2021, April). Muhammad Zahid Iqbal. https://doi.org/10.1145/3397482.3450713
  7. Aleven, M. M., & Koedinger, K. R. (2002). An effective metacognitive strategy: Learning by doing and explaining with a computer-based Cognitive Tutor. Cognitive Science, 26(2), 147-179. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15516709cog2602_1
  8. Kinect TEAM: Kinesthetic Learning Applied to Mathematics Using Kinect. (2015). Héctor Manuel OcampoOrona. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2015.12.234

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