Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The visual-spatial learner, revisited

This is taken from this paper     http://talentdevelop.com/articles/ITIPYTIW.html

The following characteristics will help in the identification of gifted visual spatial learners. However it should be noted that not all gifted visual spatial learners will match all these characteristics:

Likes complex ideas and tasks and does well on them, yet often fails at simple things

Is physically sensitive, often has acute hearing and intense reactions to loud noises.

Poor listening skills, often seems not to be listening

Has difficulty finishing tasks/school work

Has poor handwriting or difficulty keeping in the lines or grips the pen very hard and presses on the paper when writing

Loves Lego, puzzles, jigsaws, computer games, television, making things

Likes art and/or music

Has a poor sense of time

Is extremely sensitive to criticism

Is emotionally very sensitive

Has difficulty with spelling/times tables

Can remember the way somewhere after going there only once

Has a vivid imagination and/or disturbing dreams

Is distractible

Is very disorganised.

Major Risk Factors

There are four main factors that put gifted visual spatial learners at risk.  They have well above average intelligence. They are creative and divergent thinkers. They are physically and emotionally sensitive. Lastly they have an extreme visual spatial learning style coupled with an auditory sequential information processing weakness.

It's easier to see someone's weaknesses than their strengths.  Just ask any "expert"....it's easy to see what is wrong, but much more difficult to see what is right.  Just ask any teacher.  OR mother!!

Here is a side by side comparison, from the same paper.


Now, if you have trouble in school or in life, you can go to a psychiatrist and get a label and even get some drugs to make you more amenable to society.  Believe me, everyone could be on drugs!  I'm on drugs for anxiety, the most common "disorder", and I LIKE THEM!  Much more mellow than getting drunk every night, and better on the liver, I hope....Science fiction writer Aldous Huxley's Brave New World predicted this. No surprise really, where did you think Big Pharma was taking us?

Getting back...Guess what is missing from the visual-spatial learner profile?  That's right!  It's not considered a mental illness.  How lucky for them!

Strengths                                                          Weaknesses

• thrives on complexity                            • poor auditory memory, does not

                                                                          remember three step instructions

• systems thinker                                       • difficulty memorising facts; poor at          

                                                                       subject areas that require rote memorisation

                                                                       e.g. biology, foreign  languages

• high abstract reasoning                        • struggles with easy material

• loves difficult puzzles                             • poor at calculation

• keen visual memory                                • difficulty learning phonics

• creative, imaginative                              • difficulty with spelling

• good sense of humour                            • low word recognition

• better at mathematical                          • performs poorly or not at all on timed tests

  analysis than computation        

• better at reading comprehension         • difficulty learning mathematical facts

  than decoding

• better at geometry than algebra            • inattentive in class, easily distracted

• better at physics than chemistry           • disorganised, forgets details

• fascinated by computers,                        • hates drill and repetition

  especially computer graphics

• avid television watcher                           • "forgets" written homework assignments

• loves music                                             • submits short, sloppy work of poor quality             

• day dreamer - rich fantasy life          • handwriting laboured and difficult to read

• elaborate doodler                                  • impulsive, tends to act first and think later

              Source: Linda Silverman  (1997)

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