Learning styles, part 2: visual


        Each of us learns in different ways. The phrase "learning style" refers to the way we use our senses to maximize learning. Our senses donít work independently, but in concert with each other. Frequently, people have a dominant style that is supported by a second one.

        Parents who assist their young children in homework and studying can benefit from knowing the differences among these learning styles. It is especially useful for parents to understand that their childrenís preferred mode may differ from those of the parents. This is especially significant because it means that the methods that were useful to parents when they were students may not work as well with children who learn differently.

        Each week of this series we will look at a different learning style. The entire series will be posted at www.jaydavidson.com.

Visual learners

        These learners learn best by seeing. As such, demonstrations will be especially useful for driving home key points. Learners can imagine what information looks like. Writing helps them because they continue to see what they have written. There needs to be a rich variety of things to see, many of which will be recalled and remembered in the mindís eye.

        Compared to the auditory learners, visual learners prefer to work alone, devising their own visual systems for remembering the material.

How do you best work with a visual learner?

        These are some useful techniques for working with these children:

  • Underline or highlight material in books. Add margin notes to reading material. Later on, these will be visually recalled when needed by the learner.
  • Take the material and transform it into graphs or other self-created tools.
  •  Instructions should be available for them to see and refer to when they need them.
  •  Lectures and lengthy discussions will not be effective. Find ways to move away from these.
  • Color, photos, and illustrations aid in remembering material. If none are readily available, the learner can create his own.
  • Spelling needs to be seen rather than heard. Write words in a creative and colorful manner that will aid in their being remembered later.

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