Sending your child to the best school is no guarantee that she will get the best education that you want for her. Several studies attest that there are different learning styles and most schools are yet to adapt a curriculum that will fit a particular child’s learning style.
A study on 100 urban school districts published by Dr. Wilma Gillespie in 1982 revealed that achievement scores, teacher recommendations and grades were the three most prevalent criteria employed in selecting students for gifted programs. All three of these criteria, however, can only identify the gifted auditory-sequential learner – a child who can think primarily in words, has auditory strengths and a step-by-step learner.
But not all children are auditory-sequential learners.
Linda Kreger Silverman is a Colorado-based educational psychologist who extensively studied child development. Silverman’s research revealed the presence of visual-spatial leaners – the “picture thinkers”.
“The visual-spatial learner model is based on the newest discoveries in brain research about the different functions of the hemispheres. The left hemisphere is sequential, analytical, and time-oriented. The right hemisphere perceives the whole, synthesizes, and apprehends movement in space. We only have two hemispheres, and we are doing an excellent job teaching one of them. We need only become more aware of how to reach the other, and we will have happier students, learning more effectively,” she said.
Identifying a visual-spatial learner:
So how do you know if your child is a visual-spatial learner?
There are some behavioral signs that will indicate that your child is more of a visual than auditory learner.
Her lecture notes are full of colored highlight markers, charts or diagrams. She can read body language easier than others, then she’s a visual learner. Any action that takes place in her mind appears with color, texture and shape, her dreams are colored and she knows the trends.
Any flicker of an eye, slight raising of an eyebrow or faded hint of a smile will be noticed by a visual leaner. She doesn’t need words, because any sign from the other person helps her make her move from there. Sign language is her second method of interaction.
When she reads something, a visual learner makes detailed and vivid movie in her mind concerning the information she’s reading. She can also remember where the information was located on a page. When she meets someone news, she might forget that person’s name, but she will remember what that person looked and wore.
A visual learner observes every detail of a painting, examine how photographs are displayed in a book and pause before a mural.
She will never get lost in a city or anywhere else, because she will easily remember how they got in that place. She can also visit a city or find a given place just by looking at a map.
How to help a visual learner:
If your child is a visual learner, here are some things you can do to enhance her learning process:
*Ask your child’s tutor to include PowerPoint presentations – which include illustrations, charts, diagrams, maps, etc. – when helping her to do her homework.
*Teach her to encircle or highlight every important keyword in a book or article.
*When she is studying, it is better to keep her away from windows, as this distracts her.
*A quiet place to study is recommended, with no pictures or posters on the walls. Any TV or music player must be out of sight or turned off.
*Her cell phone should be in silent mode or switched off.
*Encouraging her to make lists helps develop her visual sense.
*Train her to make use of mind-mapping methods.
*Use colored pens to highlight a section in a book. They are best for stimulating her mind and help her think better.
*Place a white board or cork board on a wall so she can post reminders and mini notes.