Styles for Learning and Connecting

Child psychologists since Jean Piaget had demonstrated that babies as young as six-week old have the capability of deferred imitation – the mental capacity to store, remember actions or objects, and later, just simply by thinking, are able imitate or act on this knowledge.

By the age of 14 months, the length of time that children are able to remember an action they have observed and then imitate has increased to four weeks or longer. And this ability continues to develop phenomenally, enabling the exponential growth in behaviour and language acquisition. In fact this ability forms the key foundation in the learning and relating abilities of a person whereupon we learn to connect with the world through our Visual (V), Audio (A), and Kinaesthetic (O) sensors.

Educationists have identified that people learn through a combination of the sensors and develop personal preferences to use which sensor more than the others. It’s like being right- or left-handed. Hence there are 3 primary learning styles are broadly drawn as follows: Visual Learner – needs to see the information through graphic representations; Audio Learner – needs to hear the information; and Kinaesthetic Learner – needs to touch and manipulate the information. In all cases, the primary sensor is assisted by the remaining sensors to aid total learning and imitation

Reflection pointers for fathers to consider…
In fathering context, we can remind ourselves the following:
1. That our kids are natural and expert learners by the time they can walk. No one is stupid. We all CAN Learn;
2. That our kids have their own personal unique learning styles and if we can determine that we can then help facilitate their learning experience positively;
3. That we can then connect with our kids on the same wavelength and deepen our relationships with them.

Action pointers for fathers to connect…
Take time to observe and engage your child to determine his/her learning style preference. Visual learner tends to use words connected with seeing e.g., “I see you are right”. Audio learners tend to use words connected to hearing e.g., “That sounds about right”. Kinaesthetic tends to use feeling words e.g., “That feels right!”

By Philip Chang, Centre For Fathering