A Picture is Worth 1000 Words to a Visual Learner
“Visual learners – those with a visual learning style or “Visual / Spatial Intelligence” according to Gardner’s Model of Multiple Intelligences, “prefer graphs, pictures, and diagrams. They look for visual representations of information,” (Mindtools, n.d.).
“This intelligence, which relies on the sense of sight and being able to visualize an object, includes the ability to create internal mental images/pictures. Visual/spatial intelligence is triggered by presenting the mind with and/or creating unusual, delightful, and colorful designs, patterns, shapes, and pictures, and engaging in active imagination through such things as visualization guided imagery, and pretending exercises,” (Learning Styles).
According to Nusa Maal (2004), visual learners represent 20% – 40% of the population. Your visual learner has strong image-processing abilities and prefers images for content learning.
Visual learners like content that includes anything the learner sees and processes in the pattern-processing & image center of the brain. This can include two-dimensional pictures, photos, drawings, charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, videos, demonstrations, etc. as well as three-dimensional objects such as artifacts in a museum, animals in a zoo, or a person demonstrating a skill.
It is important to note, reading is not a visual learning activity. As mentioned in the Auditory learning section: “Although reading might seem, on the surface, to be a ‘visual’ activity, research indicates that making sense of a string of syllables, words, sentences, and paragraphs is a left-brain (linear-sequential-analytical) function. Any visual learner may or may not learn well through reading. Many do not.
Other types of information such as pictures, images, maps, charts, diagrams, and melodies are primarily processed in the part of the brain that specializes in perceiving patterns and integrating component parts into a recognizable whole,” (Dalton & Farmer, 2002, p. 389).
Just as reading is not really a visual learning activity, text displayed on a T.V. or computer screen, text-based Powerpoint presentations, or any other text-based teaching tool is not a “visual” learning activity. Reading can be of benefit to a visual learner, if the learner is a good reader. When designing your lessons, you will want to mindful that reading is not, by nature, a visual activity.
As a home schooling parent, you can find visually “rich” ways of teaching your Visual Learner. Doing so will enable your child to learn faster & better than through strictly traditional teaching methods. Multimedia software programs and videos are ideal for a visual learner. Many hands-on activities are great for teaching a Visual Learner too.
As you go through this tutorial, you will have the opportunity to read about specific visual learning activities you can use to teach your Visual Learner. I’d recommend going through the tutorial sequentially learn as much as you can about effectively teaching your child, but if you’re short on time, you can jump ahead to the list of visual learning activities now.