Teaching is challenging at the best of times. Teachers have the tough task of imparting a holistic approach to reading to give all their students the best chance at being strong and confident readers. However, this outcome is not always achieved; studies have shown that many children are falling through the cracks.
Students who are visual learners are often not getting all their learning needs met. Schools tend to take a phonics approach to early reading; however, statistics show that 65% of what we learn is through what we see. Learning to read through phonics is therefore counter-intuitive to how visual learners actually learn. These children have powerful right hemispheres and learn using multi-dimensional images.
Learning from listening is difficult for visual learners. Learning from looking is much easier, for example; road maps, stop signs and traffic lights. In fact, the part of the brain used to process words is quite small in comparison to the part that processes visual images.
Words are abstract and rather difficult for the brain to retain, whereas visual images are concrete and, as such, more easily remembered.
Though visual-spatial students are often very bright, they don’t always find success in academic environments. This is because schools and educational facilities are a haven for left hemisphere learners, or auditory-sequential learners. This is where the ‘Reading Our Way’ program will help enrich the reading experiences of visual learners in their educational environment.
A recent study by Professor Linda Gilmore & Ms Cherry Ko demonstrated the success the Reading OUR Way program can have:
‘Across an average period of approximately 4 months…9 children gained an average of almost 18 reading words…All participants had improvements in receptive language, 7 of the 9 children gained at least 6 months in receptive language with some achieving gains as great as 14 and 16 months. 5 of the 9 also improved in expressive language’.
Reaching the Visual Learner: Teaching Property Through Art: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=587201
Visual Learning: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-psyched/201207/learning-through-visuals