WHAT IS MULTI SENSORY LEARNING?
We rely on our senses to process information when learning and that our brain is capable of processing information using more than one “sense” at the same time. I use a combination of looking (visual), listening (auditory), moving around (kinaesthetic) and other senses can create a lasting impression in terms of learning.
This natural approach is one way to allow children engage in learning in a more natural way by using their “senses”.
Visual Learners are those who prefer to acquire new information by using the sense of site. Typically, children who are visual learners are those who enjoy vibrantly coloured pictures, flash cards, videos, etc.
There are other children who learn more by hearing and responding verbally. They are called musical/auditory learners, who enjoy rhymes or songs, and can respond quickly to verbal instructions.
Kinaesthetic learners acquire knowledge best using their body to manipulate different materials to learn. E.g. playing with blocks, mind maps, solving hands on puzzles and learning in any way that involves moving their body is just a few examples of kinaesthetic activities. They learn best when they are “actively” involved in learning activities.
When we talk about learning styles, we refer to these preferred types of learning. Along with logical/mathematics, social and solitary styles of learning, as illustrated below, it is important to understand and cater for these differences when planning learning for success.
When we refer to Multi-Sensory learning in particular we are talking about learning that happens when more than one sense is used to acquire and retain information. Using multiple senses can make more cognitive connections and associations in learning a concept. It can connect ideas and information and can make learning a more engaging experience.
There are many students who often struggle in learning as the traditional method of teaching is more often beneficial to auditory learners. If students/children says “it’s not fun in school” or express boredom when learning, it does not necessarily mean that they are lazy or not interested. There is a large body of scientific evidence behind this behavior that correlates to” the way” children learn.
Multi-Sensory education focuses on each learning style. It triggers all the senses through one activity. This method of teaching has the ability to reach to almost every student and thus opens up new possibilities for education and good teaching practice.
- I use pictures and words rather than words alone. Retention of information improves when words are associated with pictures. Use of flash cards, posters etc, fun characters etc.
- I encourage use of colour for highlighting or colour coordinating words which assists with reading or construction.
- Create learning models such as diagrams, mind maps and puzzles that can trigger not only the visual senses but can also inspire a kinesthetic learner.
- You can also have kids create their own simple dioramas, models or hand on investigations to ensure learning in interactive.