How to Teach Step Learners

Teach the WordStep learners (just like the name) love to follow steps to learn. They desire goals and practicality.

They prefer to learn by seeing tangible results through practicing what they have learned and following directions one step at a time. They like being active, rather than passive, learners and need to know exactly what is expected, how well the task must be done, and why.

Step learners learn best by drill and repetition, demonstration, direct instruction, and guided practice exercises.

They really like doing things that have an immediate and practical use. They appreciate being acknowledged for thoroughness and detail, and they enjoy praise for prompt and complete work. They are also into competitions when they learn along with immediate rewards, privileges, etc.

Step learners do not like completing tasks for which there are no practical uses. They do not like open-ended activities that require imagination and intuition or complex directions, especially those without closure or pay off. They also don’t care much for activities that focus on feelings or other intangible results.

Their favorite activities are those that focus on organizing and managing information, practicing a skill, observing, describing, memorizing, and categorizing.

Here’s a practical summary of how step learners learn most effectively:

  • Having a structured agenda that lets them keep track of key points
    and their order.
  • Writing down all the steps to accomplish tasks described in the
    presentation.
  • Hearing explanations of the usefulness of every item on the agenda
    and in the plan.
  • Practicing what they have learned—first with guidance and then on
    their own.

In our next blog, we’ll talk about the Create learning style (which, by the way, is the exact opposite of the Step learner).

Hint: Step learners and Create learners do not like learning with one another (unless you know how to teach them simultaneously as we discuss in our very last blog coming later). Stay tuned!

P.S. If you haven’t found out your learning style yet, you can do that here.


Jason Teteak—a WELS member from the Madison, WI, area—continues his series of articles on the four learning styles. Jason is an international public speaking coach and author. As the founder of Rule The Room, a company that specializes in training public speakers, he has trained more than a million people how to command attention and connect with audiences. He believes that in order to connect with learners, it is important that we understand the four basic learning styles and that we learn to teach in a way that addresses all of those learning styles. In his six-part series for Teach the Word, he will help us understand the four learning styles and help us see how we can apply this understanding as we develop lessons and teach God’s Word. Jason is accustomed to writing for the business world; we think you will like his vibrant style!