Articles from the Visual-Spatial Resource

Guidelines for Teaching Visual-Spatial Learners (VSLs)

1. Present ideas visually on the chalkboard or on overheads. "A picture is worth a thousand words." Use rich, visual imagery in lectures.
2. Teach the student to visualize spelling words, math problems, etc. An effective method of teaching spelling is to write the word in large, colored print and present it to the student at arm's length, slightly above eye level.
Have her close her eyes, visualize the word, then create a silly picture of the word in her mind. Then have her spell it backwards (this demonstrates visualization), then forwards, then write it once.
3. Use inductive (discovery) techniques as often as possible. This capitalizes on the visual-spatial learner's pattern-finding strength.

Confessions of a Non-Visual-Spatial Learner

Now, you want to hear something really funny? I have just published a book about visual-spatial learners. Isn’t that a riot?! How could someone with so little spatial intelligence have possibly written a book on the topic! It’s probably because I have so little spatial ability that I have so much admiration for people who see in a way that I can’t. The book also addresses introversion, because visual-spatial learners tend to be introverted. I’m a rabid extravert. I had to look at this learning style from the outside in, as I definitely had no personal experience to look at it from the inside out.

At-Risk Youth and the Creative Process

What enables young people at risk for delinquency to choose a more constructive path? Most likely it is finding something they are good at, that they enjoy doing, and that is seen as valuable by others. Art is often the answer. Art begins with imagery, a function of the right hemisphere. When right-hemispheric gifts are honored and developed, they serve as a protective shield and channel energy in a positive direction. When they are ignored or neglected, children and youth seek other outlets that may be detrimental to themselves and society.

Why All Students Need Visual-Spatial Methods

The first child I observed with unusual visual-spatial abilities was profoundly gifted (above 175 IQ). So I assumed that visual-spatial learners were profoundly gifted. Then, I discovered that children who fit the characteristics of giftedness, but did not test in the gifted range due to hidden learning disabilities, were usually visual-spatial learners. So I thought that visual-spatial learners were either profoundly gifted or twice exceptional (gifted with learning disabilities).


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