Our Learning abilities largely depend on our learning styles. All of us have an innate learning style and if we receive information in that style we are able to absorb it much more easily .
For example if my learning style is auditory that is listening then I will absorb information very fast through audio recordings or narrations .
As most of our learning is through sensory organs there are three basic learning styles that anyone can have Auditory (Listeners), Visual (Lookers) and Kinesthetic (Movers). We start showing these preferences right from very young age . We can find some babies who are very keen observers , some who are keen listeners and some who are movers . Though a child may have a preferred innate learning style it is possible to help them develop other ways of learning too so that their all round development is possible. And this can be best done in the formative years that is the 0 -6 years window. As an adult it is very difficult for us to change our learning styles and as a result we find we are good at certain skills but poor at others . Generally these skills which we are not good at would require a learning ability which does not suit our learning style and as we did not develop it in our early years it remain untapped. For example if I am a looker or a visual learner I may not be able to pick up different languages fast as my listener skill were not developed.
So as early childhood educators or parents of young children , it is very essential that we observe a child when he enters the preschool and find out their innate learning style . It is possible to do this by giving them various activities related to these three learning styles. You may typically observe that a listener child will be very interested to listen to rhymes and stories and if the child can speak he will participate in conversation by speaking words or sentences. A looker child will enjoy playing with blocks , picture cards , observe colourful surroundings , colouring . They will have very good hand eye coordination. And of course mover child is very easy to identify . He will be constantly on the go , jumping around , lying down , watching outside the window, etc.
So if in the first few months we are able to identify the child’s learning style , we can then teach the child by providing activities suiting that style . For example teach a looker child by showing picture flashcards , etc, teach a listener child by narrating stories and oral instructions , teach a mover child by involving them in physical activities with oral instructions . Looker and listener children are easily able to adapt to our learning environments and traditional school system . They usually do not have much trouble sailing through the academics . However their learning abilities can be much more enhanced if their innate learning style is enhanced and their weaker areas are brought at par. Mover children are the ones who find it most challenging to cope up with the regular school system and specially academics . So if at an early age mover children are identified and if we can focus on improving their listener and looker skills they can become very good all rounders too.
I am listing here a few activities that can be done to enhance or develop each of these skills mainly in preschoolers . These activities will vary as the children grow up.
Looker Skill Enhancer Activities
– Help them solve a variety of puzzles
– Help them make Scrapbooks of Pictures , Photographs
– Help them with activities like Connecting Dots and other such workbooks
– Play Simple Card Games with them
– Different types of Colouring activities
– Do Picture Talks with them. Show them a picture with multiple pictures and activities and let them talk about what they see
Listener Skill Enhancer Activities
– Substitute specific names for generic names. Eg rose instead of flower
– Role play telephonic conversation
– Recite with them Tongue Twisters
– Narrate stories and poetries to them
– If people around speak different languages let them talk and listen to all of them
Mover Skill Enhancer Activities
– Hop, Jump, Twirl
– Texture Feeling and Matching
– Hand clapping Games
– Action rhymes
– Simon Says game
– Painting the floor with water
Our behaviour correction of children also should be according to their learning style .
For a Looker it can be just a warning glance
For a Listener it may have to be proper explanations
For a Mover you may have to divert their attention to some other activity
So as Early Childhood Educators if we are able to identify and help the child develop all three learning styles , the child will find learning a very enjoyable process and as parents we will be able to guide them later to a career which suits their innate learning style . A looker may turn out to be a great artist but also enjoy conversing with people and socialise , a listener may become linguistic genius but also appreciate art and a mover may become a star athlete but also a musician and an organised person.