> Some characteristics of people who favor particular perception modes
can reproduce symbols, letters, or words by hearing them
can repeat verbal instructions
enjoys dialogue, plays, and drama
hums, talks to self and others
favors music; can learn concepts by listening to tapes
learns reading best by phonetic approach
learns by seeing and watching demonstrations
conjures up the image of a form by seeing it with the mind's eye
sometimes has vivid imagination
stares; needs something to watch
quiet; does not talk at length
becomes impatient when extensive listening is required
prefers the visual arts (media)
reads by word recognition
learning must involve the sense of touch
likes to trace words/pictures in sand
often takes notes and/or likes to write on the blackboard
does well in art, especially when working with clay
likes to piece things together
often found doodling
learns by doing; direct involvement
fidgets; finds reasons to move
not attentive to visual/auditory presentations so seems distractable
tries things out; touches; manipulates
gestures when speaking
responds to music by physical movement
Visual-Spatial Intelligences ("art smart" or "picture smart") We often say “A picture is worth a thousand words!” or “Seeing is believing!” This intelligence represents the knowing that occurs through the shapes, images, patterns, designs, and textures we see with our external eyes, but also includes all of the images we are able to conjure inside our heads.
If you are strong in this intelligence you tend to think in images and pictures. You are likely very aware of object, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns in the environment around you. You probably like to draw, paint, and make interesting designs and patterns, and work with clay, colored markers, construction paper, and fabric. Many who are strong in visual-spatial intelligence love to work jigsaw puzzles, read maps and find their way around new places. You probably have definite opinions about colors that go together well, textures that are appropriate and pleasing, and how a room should be decorated. And, you are likely excellent at performing tasks that require “seeing with the mind’s eyes,” such as visualizing, pretending, imagining, and forming mental images.
Visual-spatial learners are more attentive if they understand the goals of instruction. They are more cooperative at home and at school if they are allowed some input into decision making process and some legitimate choices. Discipline must be private, as these children are highly sensitive and easily humiliated. If they are respected, they will learn to treat others with respect. When they are placed in the right learning environment, where there is a good match between their learning style and the way they are taught, visual-spatial learners can actualize their potential to become innovative leaders. There are four learning dimensions in this model.
Concrete experience -
learning from specific experiences, relating to people, and sensitivity to feelings and people
careful observation before making a judgement, viewing things from different perspectives, and looking for the meaning of things
Logical analysis of ideas, systematic planning, acting on intellectual understanding of a situation
Active experimentation -
ability to get things done, risk taking, influence people and events through action
By combining these two opposite dimensions we get four quadrants of learning behaviour:
Type I learner:
You are primarily a "hands-on" learner. You tend to rely on intuition rather than logic. You like to rely on other people's analysis rather than your own. You enjoy applying your learning in real life situations.
Type II learner:
You like to look at things from many points of view. You would rather watch rather than take action. You like to gather information and create many categories for things. You like using your imagination in problem solving. You are very sensitive to feelings when learning.
Type III learner:
You like solving problems and finding practical solutions and uses for your learning. You shy away from social and interpersonal issues and prefer technical tasks.
Type IV Learner:
You are concise and logical. Abstract ideas and concepts are more important to you than people issues. Practicality is less important to you than a good logical explanation.
Kolb's model is only one of many. Anthony Gregorc modified Kolb's
dimensions by focusing on random and sequential processing of
information. This is similar to top-down and bottom up
processing. Top-down learners look at the whole task (random)
while bottom-up learners proceed one-step-at-a-time
Seagal and Horne have developed a model that relies on three
dimensions. The mental dimension is responsible for out thoughts,
values, objectivity, focusing, and abstract conceptualization.
The relational or emotional dimension is responsible for
connecting, organizing, feeling, assessing, and communicating
The physical dimension is responsible for doing, manifesting,
producing, and action-oriented skills.
The three dimensions work together but we have a preferred mode.
That is if we prefer the mental dimension we would struggle with
the "idea" of the problem. If we are relationally oriented we
would organize and assess the parts of the problem. If we prefer
the physical mode we are likely to try and do or act out the
Those who prefer the mental mode of learning probably learn best
by developing overviews, abstracting information, making precise
notes, going to lectures, and working in a solitary environment.
Those who prefer the relational/emotional mode of learning
probably learn best by working in groups, verbalizing
information, and working in relaxed environment.
Those who prefer the physical mode probably learn best by hands-
on applications, daily repetitions, taking good notes, allowing
time for demonstration and imitation, and allowing free-flowing
movement from one task to another.
A final approach presented to you here is David Hunt's notion of
cycling through all four of Kolb's dimensions. That is first
experience the problem, then reflect on it, then analyze it, then
act on it. In this approach the learner will recognize that some
modes in the cycle are easier than others and will be able to
identify the types of learning that should be worked on.
While none of the above models or the many not mentioned here are
perfect they should give you an opportunity to learn your
preferred learning style. Now you can decide to try to alter how
you learn, become even more proficient in your preferred style,
or adapt learning that is presented to you so that it more
closely matches your preferred style.
Verbal Learners ·Have a sensitivity to the meaning, sounds and rhythms of words ·Enjoy storytelling and creative writing ·Love reading, poetry, humor and find pleasure in working puzzles and solving riddles Suggestions for Parents·Read with your child ·Listen intently to your child's questions, concerns and experiences ·Provide books for your child to read and paper for writing ·Encourage your child to tell you about the story he/she read or to share with you something he/she has written (a tape recorder is a helpful aid) ·Provide opportunities to visit the public library and local bookstores ·Play games such as Scrabble, Yahtzee and Boggle Logical Learners ·Enjoy number games, problem solving, pattern games and experimenting ·Have strong reasoning skills and ask questions in a logical manner ·Like order and step-by-step directions Suggestions for Parents ·Let your child experiment ·Invite your child to help you bake a cake or make new colors by mixing paints ·Show your child how to use a calculator ·Ask your child to help set the table, sort clothes or organize the desk drawer ·Play games such as UNO, checkers and chess Visual Learners·Enjoy creating visual patterns and need visual stimulation ·Are daydreamers ·Have a talent for art Suggestions for Parents·Allow your child to create with various arts and crafts ·Give your child opportunities for solving puzzles or inventing ·Let your child design a "play corner" in his/her room ·Visit art museums ·Let your child use a camera to take pictures of family and friends ·Provide a variety of art mediums such as paints, crayons and magic markers for your child to use ·Play games such as Pictionary or cards Musical Learners·Enjoy playing instruments, singing songs, drumming ·Like the sounds of the human voice, environmental sounds and instrumental sounds ·Learn easier if things are set to music or to a beat Suggestions for Parents ·Allow your child to select a recording at the local music store ·Encourage your child to sing along or clap to the rhythm of music ·If possible, involve your child in some type of music lessons ·Provide opportunities to attend concerts and musicals ·Have sing-alongs Physical Learners·Are athletic and active ·Enjoy creative dramatics, role-playing, dancing and expressing themselves with movement and bodily actions ·Learn through physical movement and from touching and feeling ·Use movement, gestures and physical expression to learn and solve problems ·May touch while talking Suggestions for Parents·Involve your child in dancing, acting or sport activities ·Provide a variety of manipulatives for experimentation ·Walk, jog, hike, play tennis, bowl or bike as a family ·Play games such as charades Extrovert Learners·Are very social ·Can "read" the feelings and behaviors of others ·Are excellent leaders and enjoy being part of a group ·Can help peers and work cooperatively with others Suggestions for Parents ·Play family games ·Encourage your child to participate in group activities ·Encourage discussions and problem solving Introvert Learners·Like to work independently ·Are very self-motivated and prefer solitary activities ·March to a different drummer ·Have the ability to understand their own feelings, motivations and moods Suggestions for Parents ·Give your child time to work or play alone ·Ask your child to make something for the whole family to enjoy ·Encourage your child to keep a diary or journal You can provide a great deal of insight into how your child learns. Educators strive to provide a learning environment where every child experiences success.
IT'S NOT HOW SMART YOU ARE - IT'S HOW YOU ARE SMART!
Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences
What parent can not see gleaming rays of genius in their child? And yet, how many children come to school and demonstrate their own unique genius? There was a time when it might have been a joke to suggest "Every parent thinks their kid's a genius." But research on human intelligence is suggesting that the joke may be on educators! There is a constant flow of new information on how the human brain operates, how it differs in function between genders, how emotions impact on intellectual acuity, even on how genetics and environment each impact our childrens' cognitive abilities. While each area of study has its merits, Howard Gardner of Harvard University has identified different KINDS of intelligence we possess. This has particularly strong ramifications in the classroom, because if we can identify children's different strengths among these intelligences, we can accomodate different children more successfully according to their orientation to learning.
Thus far Gardner has identified nine intelligences. He speculates that there may be many more yet to be identified. Time will tell. These are the paths to children's learning teachers can address in their classrooms right now. They are:
·VISUAL/SPATIAL - children who learn best visually and organizing things spatially. They like to see what you are talking about in order to understand. They enjoy charts, graphs, maps, tables, illustrations, art, puzzles, costumes - anything eye catching.·VERBAL/LINGUISTIC - children who demonstrate strength in the language arts: speaking, writing, reading, listening. These students have always been successful in traditional classrooms because their intelligence lends itself to traditional teaching.·MATHEMATICAL/LOGICAL - children who display an aptitude for numbers, reasoning and problem solving. This is the other half of the children who typically do well in traditional classrooms where teaching is logically sequenced and students are asked to conform.·BODILY/KINESTHETIC - children who experience learning best through activity: games, movement, hands-on tasks, building. These children were often labelled "overly active" in traditional classrooms where they were told to sit and be still!·MUSICAL/RHYTHMIC - children who learn well through songs, patterns, rhythms, instruments and musical expression. It is easy to overlook children with this intelligence in traditional education.·INTRAPERSONAL - children who are especially in touch with their own feelings, values and ideas. They may tend to be more reserved, but they are actually quite intuitive about what they learn and how it relates to themselves.·INTERPERSONAL - children who are noticeably people oriented and outgoing, and do their learning cooperatively in groups or with a partner. These children may have typically been identified as "talkative" or " too concerned about being social" in a traditional setting.·NATURALIST - children who love the outdoors, animals, field trips. More than this, though, these students love to pick up on subtle differences in meanings. The traditional classroom has not been accomodating to these children.·EXISTENTIALIST - children who learn in the context of where humankind stands in the "big picture" of existence. They ask "Why are we here?" and "What is our role in the world?" This intelligence is seen in the discipline of philosophy.
Teachers are now working on assimilating this knowledge into their strategies for helping children learn. While it is too early to tell all the ramifications for this research, it is clear that the day is past where educators teach the text book and it is the dawn of educators teaching each child according to their orientation to the world.