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Recognizing and Helping Kinesthetic Learners

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 188

There are a variety of different styles in which people process information and learn.

The eyes are the preferred organs of intake for some, who we call visual learners. For them, graphics and diagrams are extremely helpful.

Those who learn best through the ears - the auditory or aural learners - best absorb information presented in the form of sound.

Words are the stock in trade of the read/write learners - yet another class of scholars we encounter.

But the intriguing category of which we will speak here is comprised of the kinesthetic learners. Also known as tactile learners, they are the physically-oriented people in our midst. They are grounded in their bodies and senses and shine when participating in dance or drama or sports where they can use those faculties to the utmost. And, not surprisingly, when it comes to education, these individuals benefit when the same sense of touch and activity of movement that they value in other facets of life are brought to bear.

In order to spur these learners to their highest potential, we need to tailor material in a fashion that best allows them to master it. There is an array of options for doing so. Some of the possibilities are quite innovative, in fact. They revolve around incorporating what you might call props into the learning and study processes or designing role plays and related activities through which content is clarified and brought to life. Anything that allows these tactile learners to move and sense as they engage with what is to be learned is beneficial. And there is no academic subject in which we cannot, with some creativity, discover new ways to take advantage of touch and motion.

But before we can help this group of learners in these imaginative ways, we have to first do something else even more basic: identify them.

Sadly, the educational system often falls short at that step. There are teachers that simply do not understand the kinesthetic style and so they never even recognize that some of their students possess it, much less work with them in the fashion they require.

Another problem is that some in the educational system are not comfortable working with kinesthetic learners because their energetic style can clash with a more traditional, "stay in your seats and keep quiet in the classroom" approach.

It all adds up to one sad result - kinesthetic learners receiving a suboptimal education.

This needs to change. And thankfully it may be in the process of doing so. The public and the educational community are developing greater awareness of and sensitivity to the differences between student's preferred methods of learning. This is a result of promotional efforts by people, groups and organizations with a vested interest in spreading not only knowledge about tactile learners, but programs and products that can help us meet their needs.

And when we meet the needs of these special students, we ultimately meet the needs of many others, as well. Kinesthetic people are often among our society's most creative. That means that a lot of the music, the art and the athletics that we will be enjoying years from now are likely to emerge from the work of the tactile students of today. Therefore, by making an effort to enhance their education, we may also enhance the benefits we will all gain from their wonderful creations down the road.

So teachers, counselors, principals, coaches, mentors and parents - as well as anyone else that works with people in any educational capacity - be on the lookout for the kinesthetic learner. And, while you're at it, you might want to include looking out for one in the mirror because, you never know - the kinesthetic learner you are closest to might just be yourself.

Visit our blog about kinesthetic learning strategies to discover more. There you can find out about tactile learners and ideas and activities to help them reach their potential.

Source: EzineArticles
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Tactile Learners


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Learning Styles

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