Visual Learning Style
Learning styles group common ways that people learn. Some children may have a visual learning style. A visual learning style should not be confused with having visual-spatial intelligence. If you child has a visual learning style, it means that they approach a task based on what they can see. Visual-spatial intelligence refers to a mental ability, which allows individuals to understand graphs and images, not how tasks are tackled.
How do I know if my child has a visual learning style?
The best way to determine if your child has a visual learning style is to observe how they prefer to do their homework and to ask their teachers how they behave at school. Children with a visual learning style:
- Like to use pictures and diagrams
- Easily visualise information and processes
- Have good map reading skills
- Remember what they see, including images and words written on a whiteboard
- Prefer reading and writing to listening
- Sometimes tune out when trying to focus and need quiet study
- Good at spelling
- Usually sit near the front of the class so they can see the teacher and the board
- Notice small details
- Ask for things to be described so they can form a mental image
What are the strengths of visual learners?
All learning styles have strengths. Children with a visual learning style may tend to have a good sense of direction, due to excellent map reading skills. As visual learners like to see words written down, they tend to be good at spelling and have excellent essay writing skills. Visualisation often requires concentration, therefore, children with a visual learning style may remain focused for long periods of time and they may keep their workspace tidy and organised in order to avoid visual distractions. Another strength of visual learners is that they are very good at remembering people’s faces.
How might visual learners struggle?
It is important to remember that no learning style is better than another. There are areas in which all children will struggle. Children with a visual learning style may daydream, which means they aren’t always paying attention. This can especially be the case with listening exercises, which don’t provide any visual stimuli. Whilst visual learners are very good at remembering faces, they may easily forget people’s names. Additionally, many visual learners can be very quiet and shy in class and therefore may not join in with class discussions.
What strategies can be used to help visual learners do well?
Knowing your child’s strengths and weaknesses can help you to support them at home. There are lots of strategies that can be put in place to help visual learners to excel. Children with a visual learning style use visual information to help them learn and remember facts. Therefore when studying at home, they could:
- Make mind maps to organise information
- Write notes in different colours
- Replace words with drawings
- Use a wall planner
- Watch videos
- Use flashcards
- Highlight and underline notes in bright colours
- Draw diagrams
- Write timelines
Children with a visual learning style shouldn’t be limited to these learning strategies however. This is because some children may use a mixture of different learning styles.
What types of career options might my child like?
When children enter key stage 3 (KS3), schools may begin to discuss future careers. This is often to help your child choose the right GCSEs. Many visual learners may go on to be artists, filmmakers, architects, graphic designers and photographers. However, visual learners may also enjoy a career in physics, astronomy, engineering, surgery, CNC programming or they may like to become a pilot.