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This study aims to determine students’ learning styles in differentiation learning. The learning styles in question are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. This type of research includes qualitative descriptive. The subjects in this study were 50 students of Eakkapapsasanawich Islamic School Thailand in two classes. This data was obtained through observation, interviews and questionnaires. The results showed that male students had a visual learning style of 48%, an auditory learning style of 25%, and a kinesthetic learning style of 27%. Female students had a visual learning style of 36%, an auditory learning style of 43% and a kinesthetic learning style of 21%. That showed that the learning styles of students in Thai Islamic Schools are very diverse. That is a challenge for teachers in applying differentiation learning.

Introduction

Each student has its uniqueness (Rioset al., 2016). They are born with different characteristics, both innate and influenced by the environment (Griffiths & Linquist, 2022). These characteristics include cognitive development, talents, interests, attitudes, learning motivation, learning styles, intelligence, family background, culture, ethnicity, religion, and others (Alannasir, 2020). The teacher, as a facilitator in the learning process in the classroom, should be able to understand the different characteristics of students so that they try to apply the right strategy in managing appropriate learning in class according to the characteristics of the students (Gunawan, 2017). By implementing the right strategy, it is hoped that students will more easily absorb the material so that learning is more optimal (Dansereau, 2014). The uniqueness possessed by students affects learning outcomes and learning styles. Students who study but do not follow the learning style will have difficulty processing the information received, so they are slow, medium, and whatever is fast (Richlin, 2023).

The learning process requires the help of the five human senses (Johnson & Johnson, 2013). Someone who has sensory impairment will find it difficult to learn. The important role of the five senses in learning is the sense of sight and the sense of hearing (Ponticorvoet al., 2019). This human sensory system is useful in determining student learning styles (Leasaet al., 2018). Learning style is a student’s effort to absorb, process, and implement a fact (Yuliastiniet al., 2020). Learning style describes how a person learns to process new information through different perspectives or according to habits (Yassin & Almasri, 2015). Bireet al. (2014) say that a learning style is in harmony with habits is the basis of learning success.

The habits of students when studying certainly affect their learning style. The ability to process the information obtained also has different categories (Weinstein & Underwood, 2014). These categories are students who are enthusiastic about writing teacher explanations, those who feel comfortable listening to whatever the teacher says, and students who like to practice and apply it. Student learning method categories are learning modalities or student learning styles.

There are three types of learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles (Gilakjani, 2012). Teachers can facilitate students according to their learning style, so maximum learning achievement can be achieved (Barokahet al., 2021). Ünsal (2018) puts forward three types of learning: (1) The way students learn by directly observing and witnessing is called visual. (2) Students who are comfortable learning by using are called auditory. (3) The tendency of students to apply by practising is called kinesthetic. Meanwhile, Gilakjani (2012) breaks down learning styles into three: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Students who are called visual learners rely on non-verbal cues and focus on images, take frequent notes, and like to sit at the front of the bench. Auditory learners find and interpret information through listening, preferring to read aloud. Kinesthetic learners prefer the interaction of the physical world and an active, hands-on approach.

The characteristics of student learning styles that learners with a visual style are neatness and structure, like fast talk, noise is not an obstacle to learning, tend to like reading, being careful and quick readers, understanding what they want spoken but not very proficient in word choice, easy to remember visual associations, difficulty understanding direct commands, needs to repeat words when someone asks him for help, not careless. Thus, visual learners are encouraged to absorb knowledge by looking directly at it. The characteristics of the auditory style learner are often mumbling, not liking crowds, catching voices, and becoming readers aloud, having the ability to tell stories but having difficulty writing sentences, being good at remembering what is heard from other people’s opinions, and describing a problem with delivering in full. Therefore, learners who use the auditory learning style are more comfortable speaking and liking interviews. Meanwhile, kinesthetic learners are characterized by reluctance to speak loudly, difficulty remembering a place, moving to and from when memorizing, reading with the help of finger markers, being uncomfortable sitting still for long, and having an untidy writing style. Through learning with a kinesthetic style, learners are most dominant in favor of movement and touch.

Each child’s learning style cannot be generalized, so a teacher requires varied actions using differentiated learning strategies in the learning process. Differentiated learning means the teacher does not impose his will and understands students’ interests. Meanwhile, Morgan (2014) argues that differentiated learning is an activity that explores students’ talents and learning styles. Based on research conducted by Thapliyalet al. (2022), it was formulated that the application of differentiated learning to increase the knowledge and skills of each student must be carried out at every grade level.

The implementation of differentiation learning in Indonesia has been carried out because it is integrated with the existing curriculum in Indonesia. However, researchers also want to see how differentiation learning occurs in Thai schools. Based on initial observations at one of the Thai Islamic schools, researchers found that this school had not implemented differentiation learning. Therefore, before carrying out this study, the researcher focused on identifying the learning styles possessed by students at the school, hoping that differentiated learning can be implemented in Thai Islamic schools with data related to student learning styles.

Method

This study uses descriptive qualitative research on Grade 2 students at Eakkapapsasanawich Islamic School Thailand. The research subjects, totaling 50 students, were divided into two parts, namely, class 2-1 and class 2-2. After obtaining data from the two classes, they were divided into two parts: the learning styles of male and female students. Data was collected through classroom learning observations, interviews, and learning-style questionnaires/questions. Table I shows the distribution of subjects.

Class Male students Female students Total students
Class 2-1 9 15 24
Class 2-2 14 12 26
Total 23 27 50
Table I. Subjects at Eakkapapsasanawich School Thailand

Results and Discussion

This research was conducted at level 2 of Eakkapapsasanawich School Thailand with 50 students in two classes. The instrument is a learning style questionnaire containing 30 items for each learning style questionnaire, namely 30 statements for visual, 30 for auditory, and 30 for kinesthetic. The observation results show that the teacher prepares students to learn with a focus, and the teacher performs an initial diagnosis to determine student learning needs. That way, the teacher can explore and recognize student differences. As for interviews with teachers, it was found that each student is diverse and unique. The data obtained from the study is presented in Table II.

Learning style Percentage
Visual 48%
Auditory 25%
Kinesthetic 27%
Table II. Categorization of Male Students’ Learning Styles

Based on the data processing results, of the 23 male student respondents, the visual learning style is 48%, the audio learning style is 25%, and the kinesthetic learning style is 27%. It can be said that the learning style used by male students at Eakkapapsasanawich school is the Visual learning style. The character of the visual learning style indicates that male students at this school tend to prefer learning in the form of pictures, prefer reading alone rather than being read to them, and tend not to like learning in noisy situations. The data on the results of female students’ learning styles are shown in Table III.

Learning style Percentage
Visual 36%
Auditory 43%
Kinesthetic 21%
Table III. Categorization of Female Students’ Learning Styles

The data processing results show that the percentage of female students with a visual learning style is 36%, auditory learning style is 43%, and kinesthetic is 21%. That shows that female students in this school tend to prefer learning by listening, do not like crowds, pick up voices and become readers aloud, have the ability to tell stories but find it difficult to write sentences, are good at understanding what others hear, and describe a problem by conveying it in its entirety.

From the data presented in Fig. 1, it can be concluded that the learning styles of both male and female students at Eakkkapapasanawich School Thailand are very diverse, with a significance that is not too far off. Therefore, teachers in implementing differentiation learning must consider student learning styles so that the strategies used in the classroom can be maximized.

Fig. 1. Histogram of student learning styles.

That is appropriate by Josephet al. (2013) regarding the notion of differentiated learning, namely an approach that allows teachers to design strategies to meet the needs of each student. Whippet al. (2014) found that differentiation learning is a teacher’s strategy for meeting students’ learning needs. When the learning process is carried out in class, students study material according to their abilities, preferences, and individual needs so that students do not feel difficult and do not feel defeated in learning. Differentiated learning requires teachers to vary and understand aspects of differentiation, which consist of content, process, product, and learning environment. Teachers must optimize the needs and potential of students so that learning is effective, and students feel happy because their learning needs are met optimally. Differences in learning styles prove the best way to process the information received. The method teachers can use to carry out differentiated learning strategies must be the right one.

DePorter and Hernacki (2003, as cited in Zagotoet al., 2019) put forward a way to facilitate student learning styles to facilitate students with a visual learning style to fulfil their needs by playing videos, maximizing the use of pictures, and the teacher writing material on the blackboard more often. Meanwhile, to facilitate students with an auditory learning style, the teacher is more active in making group discussions and asking students to read aloud. Meanwhile, to facilitate students with a kinesthetic learning style by doing demonstrations and increasing hands-on practice.

Conclusion

The learning styles of Eakkapapsasanawich Islamic School Thailand students, which consist of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, tend to vary for both male and female students. However, male students’ learning styles tend to be visual, and for students, girls tend to have an auditory learning style. Therefore, teachers at this school, in implementing differentiation learning, must consider the learning styles of these diverse students so that classroom learning can be carried out optimally.

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