Become a S-A-V-I Learner

I have a deep burden!

  • Have you ever tried to learn something fairly simple, yet failed to grasp the key ideas?

  • Or felt overwhelmed or confused while others grasp the material quickly?

What happens within you?

How do you feel? Disqualified to learn?

Many feel disqualified. Yet what you may have experienced is simply a clash of learning styles between you and the teacher. It’s not wrong, only different.

For a century, a large group of people have disqualified themselves to learn because of a shift in learning philosophy. Let’s break that off our friends…and ourselves…as we learn to become S-A-V-I learners. Recent studies on learning expose our departure from God’s creation intent of variety.

Our educational society has primarily viewed intelligence as linear, reflective learning.

Just look at our IQ tests, which strive to measure linear thinking abilities. Most of us teachers have been trained this way. Teachers are therefore most comfortable teaching like this and so perpetuate this linear learning style. God is so much more creative!

Experts have discovered a number of different intelligences or ways that people learn. I want to focus on four primary ones. Now  we can become S-A-V-I learners and teachers (adapted from “The Accelerated Learning Handbook,” by Dave Meir, pp. 41-56.).

S – Somatic learning

“Soma” means body. Other terms for this hands-on approach are kinesthetic or tactile learning. This is learning from practice, by doing, by experiencing, often through physical activities and through direct physical involvement. “I can do that.” “That feels right” are comments we hear.

A – Auditory learning

These learners learn best through hearing, including telling, listening, and dialoging. Since hearing is so critical, interacting with others in a group setting is particularly vital. “I hear what you’re saying.” “That sounds about right.”

V – Visual Learning

These learners picture their own thoughts and see the big picture more easily. Images, word-pictures, diagrams, demonstrations and videos are vital to their learning. They use their imagination in healthy ways to experience what Bible characters experienced. “I see what you mean.” “I get the picture.”

I – Intellectual Learning

By this I mean linear learners who are problem-solvers, grasping information one link after another in the chain of knowledge. These learners are often more abstract, reflective, internal, cognitive. “That makes sense.” “I think that’s a good way to put it.”

I was reflecting on these four types of intelligences (guess which style is my strongest?!)

I was thinking about the contrast between my wife, Fran, and myself. My rep is: I always score well on tests. “Wow, Jim sure is smart!”

By contrast, Fran worked extremely hard and earned every bit of her “B+” grades. When we married, she often perceived herself as a person with average or below-average intelligence (I have always disagreed!) For comparison sake, let’s weigh each of these four types equally with Fran and me. Let’s say a “10” is genius and a “1” is “learning challenged.”


  • S – She is brilliant as a somatic learner. She can work with her hands and put things together in ways that amaze me.

  • A – In Germany, Fran would go buy some bread, and come back speaking German phrases that she heard on the streets because she is also a strong auditory learner.

  • V – Fran can picture a finished project in her head and just jump in without any formal plans because she is also a very high visual learner (with a hidden flare for art).

  • I – Fran has viewed herself as a slow intellectual learner.

  • Summary: Perhaps Fran is: Somatic = 9.5, Auditory = 8, Visual = 9, and Intellectual = 5 (that is, in her mind; I am convinced she is better), or a high “8” average.

On the other hand for me:

  • S – I am about a .5 as a somatic learner (I am HIGHLY “challenged” mechanically),

  • A – an average 5 auditory (although I am growing here),

  • V – 1 as a visual learner (I am visually “challenged” far beyond my need for glasses!)

  • I – 9.5 as an intellectual learner.

  • Summary: I am about a 4, well-below average.

Now, if we weighed the styles equally, Fran would be considered the brilliant one in our family and I would wear the dunce-cap in learning environment.

Folks would murmur behind my back, “Why would a beautiful, brilliant gal like Fran ever marry a dunce like Jim?”

Which of the four S-A-V-I styles of learning best fits your preferred mode?

Awareness improves the speed and quality of your learning. See, learning is like a mosaic. Each of you are unique, one-of-a-kind treasures of the Trinity, the creative, Three-in-One Community-God. NONE ARE LIKE YOU!

You have a unique mosaic piece to bring to this multi-faceted mosaic of learning because you have been fashioned in the image of the Creative One. Please don’t disqualify yourself because of perceived past failures. Your experiences may have more to do with the system than with you.

Will you bring your mosaic piece to the T-E-A-M (Together Everyone Accomplishes More)?

It’s beautiful to behold!

The hyperlink has a free PDF download of both pages together.