Effective Strategies on teaching Visual, Auditory and Tactile-learning students

Students acquire knowledge differently from one another. This process of learning is dependent on the formed pattern of reception, sensation, perception and retention which is unique to every individual. Some students may find it easier to understand processes when demonstrated, while others may already get it once verbally presented. While some students survive classes by listening to the professor alone, some may opt to just read their books at home. These patterns of behavior called learning styles are essential traits that students must possess to be able to work in school.

As mentioned earlier, students learn in different ways - some by seeing, some by listening, and others by reading. Some even learn more by doing it themselves. The first thing that a teacher must do is to determine the learning style of his or her students. To do this, the teacher must identify the sensory systems that work with a particular student. He or she must further determine the stimulus to which the sensory system responds. For instance, a child who learns faster by seeing a demonstration is a visual learner. A child can be classified visual too if he or she prefers reading. It is then necessary to classify between visual-seeing and visual-reading. On the other hand, a student who listens in class may be classified as auditory-verbal, while a student who tends to work well while listening to music may be classified auditory-musical. Lastly, a student who learns by doing a certain task may be classified as tactile-working, while one who deliberately takes notes and understands the lessons may be tactile-writing. With these six handy classifications, the teacher may now choose at least two to combine. Combining sensory classifications will be beneficial not only to one student but will target many in the class.

A visual-reading and tactile-writing student benefits from copying notes from the blackboard or the book. It may be helpful to give reading and research tasks to this student, as he or she already learns by himself or herself. A visual-seeing and tactile-working student on the other hand will benefit more with experiments and arts and crafts, rather than doing written seat works. If the child is visual-reading and tactile-working, he or she may also benefit from experiments, but will work more if given a self-instructional module. On the other hand, a visual-seeing and tactile-writing student may benefit most by direct observation and jotting down notes, so activities like watching and filling up a checklist or answering questions are applicable.

If a student is visual-seeing and auditory-verbal, he or she can be expected to just come to class and listen to the teacher. He or she may not write down notes anymore, because participation in didactic s may be enough. For a visual-reading and auditory-verbal student, it will be best to give him or her some reading assignments before going into class. In this sense, he or she will initially acquire information from the reading homework, and then reinforce it by listening to the teacher the next day. The case is different for auditory-musical students. When a child is visual-reading and auditory-musical, reading assignments will work provided that the student is also given music to listen to. For visual-seeing and auditory-musical students, sometimes playing music in class during discussion will help, as long as the music is not very distracting.

Auditory-verbal and tactile-writing students will greatly benefit from dictated lectures or didactics when they have to jot down notes. For auditory-verbal and tactile-working students, giving verbal commands as an activity proceeds will help. For auditory-musical tactile-working and tactile-writing students, again playing music in class during seat work or experiments may work. It must always be remembered that the classifications mentioned above are more or less the dominant traits that a student may possess. No single learning style works for all students, and so the teacher may try different methods and see which works best for a certain class.

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