Monday, February 16, 2009

Perceptual Modalities

The three learning modalities are the ways we prefer to take information to the mind.  We all learn in a variety of ways, but generally have a dominant method.... 

    1. Kinesthetic...  (aka Tactile) learn best by doing, touching, manipulating  

          2. Visual...  learn best by seeing and making mental images

          3. Auditory... learn best by listening

 The way your child learns best is called their "dominant modality."  Their "secondary modality" comes in second, and their "weakness" is his or her least favored method.  If your child can learn equally well using two different modalities, they are considered to have "mixed modalities." "Some kids- about 30 percent- operate out of a blend of two or three strengths."(1:27)

Very young children learn almost entirely through doing (they are kinesthetic learners), so preschool, kindergarten and first grades should be taught accordingly. In about first or second grade, children begin to be able to learn visually (which is why reading often takes off at this age), and around fifth or sixth grade, they begin to learn through listening. Keep in mind every child is different, and these are approximate ranges. As adults, we can learn through any of the three modalities, but, it is when we take in information through our dominant modality that we learn best. We can learn with our other modalities, it just takes more work.

If you try to teach a child in a modality he is unable to learn through yet, you will frustrate both yourself and the child. Once your child is to the point that he is capable of learning in more then one  modality, he should be able to switch between modalities to learn. But, the more you can teach to his dominate modality, the better he learns and remembers.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Four Learning Personalities

    These personalities give some insight and practical ideas for reaching your child. You can also make more sense of his behavior. The learning personalities are different from the modalities, because instead of dealing with how our brain likes to take in information, it deals more with suiting different personality types. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Learning Styles & Teaching Styles

There's much talk about learning styles and teaching styles. It's thought that children learn best through their personal learning style, and that in discovering it you can teach more effectively, improving their retention. There are different methods of analyzing and naming the different learning styles, and chances are your child fits into more than one category. 

I'll be looking at two different systems of classification. The first system of modalities is based on how we take in information best- by hearing, seeing, or doing. The second system is linked more to our personality- and why we may respond better to different methods.