He was quoting research by David Cole on learning styles.
Cole believes learners fall into one of four styles:
1) Diverges. These learners understand things by watching and listening to others. They gather information, assess it and finally assimilate. They perform best watching, listening and brainstorming with others.
2) Accommodators. These learners are hands on and rely on intuition rather than logic. They prefer to rely on others perception versus using there own analysis. They like to work in groups, gather ideas and put them to use. They are least likely to research and gather their own resources.
3) Assimilators. Prefer a logical, precise approach to learning. Explanations and logical theories drive their learning. They need time to research, read, think through and analyze information.
4) Convergers. These learners first think through their problem and then use information and learning to resolve it. They are likely to take new ideas and apply them to practical situations.
Given this information, I can better understand how audiences learn differently. Some will learn best just by listening and immediately using ideas. Others will need to do further research and still others will come armed with their own challenges and seek solutions.
It also reminds me how much people learn simply by watching.
Understanding an audience has different learning styles can help you balance your message.