LEARNING STYLES AND THEIR IMPORTANCE IN DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIP

What do we mean by Learning Style? Learning styles according to Wikipedia is nothing but different ways by which a person can learn. These are the ways a person picks up information from their surroundings, understands them and retains the information. However, the way a person does this varies from one to another.

There are many theories on learning style but the most important ones are the VAT style, which stands for Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. Although every child learns by using all the three ways one of the three is used as the primary mode of learning.

But why is it important to know and understand about the learning style of a child?

This is because a child with each learning types has unique personality traits and the child’s personality influences how they learn. So by knowing about a child’s learning style, it becomes easy for teachers and caregivers to understand a child’s personality trait and teach them appropriately as per their type.

When children are not taught as per their learning styles they can become restless and aggressive. It has been seen such children have been stamped with conditions like learning disabilities, autism and so on.

A study conducted by Specific Diagnostic Studies on all students in elementary and secondary schools (Miller, 2001).

https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/program/education/us/en/documents/project-design/skills/learning-styles.pdf

 

VISUAL LEARNERS

Visual learners grasp information with ease through images and illustrations. They need to see what they are learning. This can include anything from pictures, photos, drawings, charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, and videos, to seeing animals, plants, people, and objects. They would prefer to read a story rather than hear an audio book of the same story. They also love to watch videos. They will simplify complicated learning materials by drawing charts and diagrams to retain the information easily.

During a lecture visual learners usually, take notes rather than just sit and listen. If taught with pictures, videos, graphs and other visual materials they pick up and retain information very easily. For them, one picture equals to a hundred words. They are good in spelling because research suggests that spelling relies heavily on visual memory. They love colors and diagrams. They often underline texts with color pencils and highlighters. Visual learners are easily distracted by disturbances and so they prefer to study alone in a quiet place.

When gathering information during a conversation or lectures they will continuously form images in their mind. They will get bored if the information cannot be visualized and so start asking questions for clarification. When they speak, they often use a lot of ‘visual words’ like, ‘ see, look, sight, bright, picture etc’

They are good observers. They can easily pick up slightest of change in gestures, body language or even appearance or spatial arrangement of things in their environment. For example, they will know changes in the appearance of a person or arrangement of furniture in a room. Since they observe more and speak less during conversation in a group they may appear to be shy

Children who are visual usually do not easily express easily what goes on in their mind. It requires patience and repeated questioning preferably in a one to one setting to get to know their mind. They are not very good listeners. It is seen visual learners forget names but remember faces because names have no images, but they will remember names if they can form an image with it. For example, it’s easy for them to remember a name like ‘Rose’ rather than a name like ‘John’.

They love to be noticed and so they speak with a lot of gestures, crack jokes, and dress up well. In fact they have a good sense of fashion. Everything around them must be visually appealing. So they like cleanliness and things to be well organized

When teaching a visual child it’s better to use a lot of visual inputs. For example, it may be difficult to teach 4 > 2, but they will easily understand the concept if it is shown by drawing a set of 4 and 2 balls. Failing to do so may frustrate them and eventually lose interest in the subject.

Body Language of Visual Learners

·         Sit up straight and make eye contact while listening to someone speak

·         Use a lot of gestures while speaking.

·         Touching or pointing to the eyes and gestures made above eye level

·         They can be easily distracted by sounds while speaking

·         While trying to recall something they may look up y tilting their head back or even roll their eyeballs up.

·         Rapid shallow chest breathing

·         Usually walk very fast

·         When excited speak rapidly with high pitch

Recommendation for teaching a visual child-

Include a lot of pictures and diagrams while teaching. For example, if you want to teach about ‘above and below’  use a picture as shown below instead of teaching them definitions.

source: www.meddybemps.com

·         Buy books with lot of pictures, for examples comic books

·         Use teaching tools and toys which convey the information you want to give.

·         Show them videos and pictures of what you are teaching them on the internet. For example, they may not remember a rabbit lives in a burrow, but if you show a picture they will surely remember.

·         Use highlighters and colors to mark important texts.

·         Use colors when writing spellings

·         To teach them about animals and historical stuff visit a zoo and museum.

 

AUDITORY LEARNERS

As the name suggests these type of children learn by sound. To learn they must HEAR. They are comfortable when a text is read and explained to them rather than reading the text themselves.

According to Nusa Maal (2004), 20% – 30% of people are auditory learners. Even though less than one-third of the population prefers auditory learning, this is the way almost all schools provide instruction. Auditory instruction involves lecture, recalling information in sequence, and teaching through reading.

http://learningabledkids.com/tag/verbal-learner

Memorizing and reproducing lessons are easy for auditory learners. They love to talk and explain things. So in a group, they are the ones who do the talking. In fact, they will even interrupt when others are speaking to say what they want to say. It is difficult to stop them from talking. They cannot keep quiet for long. They are not afraid to speak and ask questions in public. They do very well in group discussions. They love to hear news on TV than reading a newspaper.

When studying they read out their lessons as they need to hear what they read. Unlike visual learners, they are comfortable with lectures even if there are no visual presentations. They don’t like taking down notes and can remember most of the information just by hearing it. They are good at remembering dates and names. In music, some of the auditory learners are good at hearing a tune and reproducing it rather than feeling and expressing it.

They can understand hidden meaning behind words by hearing the tone of the voice. They have good voice modulation.  During conversations, they often use ‘auditory words’ like listen, hear, sound, noise, loud, ring etc.

How to teach an auditory learner?

·         They should be made to read aloud

·         Listen to audio books and recorded material of their lessons.

·         Use mnemonics, songs, and poetry for memorization

·         Participate in debates, story-telling and speech competition

·         Ask them to talk about what they have learned.

·         The learning material should be read out to them.

Body Language of Auditory Learners

·         While speaking they use their voice as per the punctuation. That means pauses will be as much as it should be to explain commas and full stops. So they are good speakers

·         When communicating one on one the person may tilt their head to one side

·         They have a voice that resonates

·         Breathe in mid chest

·         Eyes may look to the right or left while recalling an event

·         Pointing towards or gesturing near the ear

·         Touching mouth or jaw

·         Eye balls stay in the middle

·         Frowns while thinking and diaphragmatic breathing

KINESTHETIC LEARNERS

Kinesthetic learners must feel to learn, to feel through touch, taste, and smell. They love doing something and learning in the process. They love to be part of case studies and project work. Instead of learning text books of science they would prefer to spend time experimenting in the science lab. To learn they need to use their hands, move things and feel them. Since feeling and doing is important they remember what they have done. They often tend to be good in sports and dance which involves the use of muscles and body movements. A kinesthetic child will often dismantle and again fix a toy. They enjoy making things with their hands. They love to keep themselves busy doing different things. They just cannot sit still. They love movement from chewing to fidgeting. So they are sometimes wrongly labeled as hyperactive. They love collecting things with which they can make or fix something, for example, things like screw drivers, knives, dryers, cleansing lotions etc. They like to touch and be touched. They don’t feel loved if not touched especially in tense moments. During conversations, they use a lot of “feeling words’ like grasp, touch, solid, heavy, smooth, rough etc. When they speak they need to feel every word they say and hence they speak slowly. They will not undertake any work unless they feel like doing it. So they take time for decisions. They are explorers! They will find out information rather than waiting for someone to give it to them. They are more of the doing kind rather than the thinking kind. So to teach let them do things on their own. They are very emotional and have a lot of passion for what they do. To last in any kind of work or relationship they need to feel good about it otherwise they lose interest.

According to Nusa Maal, kinesthetic learning is the furthest from traditional teaching methods. Therefore teaching kinesthetic learners requires active, creative lesson planning. Kinesthetic learners benefit from hands-on, manipulative activities, plays, moving around while memorizing, through reenactments, art, dance, and other active learning channels.

How to teach a kinesthetic learner?

·         If they want to walk and learn something let them do it.

·         Use a lot of role play

·         Doing the experiments they learn in science lessons

·         Enroll them in dance class, craft lessons and drama workshop

·         Teach them clay modeling and playing with wooden blocks

·         Make them write what they have learned.

Body Language of Kinesthetic Learners

·         Walks slowly

·         Breathe deeply

·         Speak slowly and softly

·         Settle or move into a warm comfortable position

·         Calm, emotional and caring

·         Eyes may look down when talking

·         Touches others when talking and like to be touched

·         Stand close to others

·         Like to huddle in groups

·         Eye balls move down

·         Touching chest and stomach area and gestures made below neck level

·         While thinking they have their head and shoulders down with deep abdominal breathing

Learning Styles and relationship

Learning styles have a lot to do with relationship issues. The way we learn also influences a lot the way we communicate. For example, visual learners usually don’t speak up in groups and are more observant. He or she may be considered as shy and introvert. So there may be unnecessary pressure on a child to speak up. Furthermore, children who are visual learners don’t easily express verbally what goes on in their mind. They need to be asked repeatedly more questions and in a one to one setting rather than in a group. They are not good listeners too. So if one is not aware of this the child may face unnecessary stress if forced to answer. This ultimately reflects on the relationship the child has with the parents.

It is seen visual learners forget names but remember faces because names have no images, but they will remember names if they can form an image with it. for example, it’s easy for them to remember a name like ‘Rose’ rather than a name like ‘John’. Sometimes among friends, someone may feel bad if his or her name is forgotten by a visual learner. They may be labeled as poor learners in school if they are exposed more to auditory instructions in schools and colleges. If no attempt is made to teach them visually it affects their self-esteem and their relationship with their friends.

On the other hand, auditory learners are comfortable when a text is read to them and can have poor reading skills. Children of the auditory type often interrupt when others are speaking to say what they want to say. It is said that it is easy to get an auditory learner to talk but it’s difficult to make them stop. Such behavior of auditory children may be seen as misbehavior. The parents may be thought of as someone who has not disciplined their child. All these factors affect the mind and relationships of auditory learners.

A child who is a kinesthetic learner will often dismantle and again fix a toy they keep themselves so busy doing that sometimes they are labeled as hyperactive. They like being close to others and like to touch people while speaking. This may be seen as bad manners especially among opposite genders and may lead to misunderstandings and strained relationship. They may move their legs or even move around while studying. Such children have been thought of to be anxious.

Sometimes we tend to treat them according to our own learning style. For example, an auditory mother may love to teach her visual child by lecturing which will only frustrate both of them. For nurturing your child and unlocking their true potential, working closely with them and if need be seeking professional help to find their learning style, will ensure a happy childhood and holistic development.

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Teaching Values to Your Child

Hi Parents,

We all know values guide our life. The way we feel about ourselves depends a lot on our values and most of it is learned in childhood. It’s better to teach children well-defined values than they picking them up randomly from their environment.

So how do we teach values to children?

The best way is practicing them ourselves. Remember, children do what they see others do more often than what they are told to do.

The other ways by which we can teach good values is through stories, poems and teaching them when they do something wrong. Sometimes children ask about what’s wrong and what’s right. Their curiosity must always be answered with proper meaningful and logical answers.

So to teach values to children I wrote a poem which I like to share with you.

It’s a Parenting tool you can use for your kid and share with friends.

Let me share how I came up with this idea. It’s interesting!

When I was flying back to Mumbai from Hyderabad a few weeks back I found that I forgot to carry a book to read which I usually do. So I tried to get into a conversation with the person sitting next to me, but he seemed to be reluctant. You see, I just can’t sit idle! Then I tried to do some mindfulness exercises but could not do for long. So I took out a paper from my bag and started writing. Guess what I wrote? A poem for my daughter! When I came back home and read out the poem to my daughter, of course with a bit of explanation she was excited. She then wrote down the poem, each line with a different color and pinned it up on the green board.

You may be thinking “what in it for me?” Don’t worry; hold on!

Now let me share some incidents to explain how the poem influenced my daughter.

In her Tennis class, which she has started six months back, she could not return several shots over the net. I was sitting there watching her. After the class, I just casually asked her if she was feeling bad about her shots. She said “Don’t you remember what you wrote in the poem? I must not feel low when I cannot do something. I must try again “

One day back from school she told me that a boy, her classmate, was making fun about the dark complexion of a girl. So I asked her what she thought about the behavior of her friend.  She told me “We must love and care for people irrespective of class and color”

I was amazed and proud to hear her answer. I also asked her to teach the same to the boy in her class.

Noticing how the poem influenced my daughter’s mind, I decided to share with all of you. 

Now let me tell you about the poem and what to do with it.

The poem is called ‘My Song’

Now follow the following steps.

  • Read the poem
  • Fill in the name and gender of your child and take a print out
  • Read the poem to your child and explain the meaning
  • Ask your child to write it, each line with a different color
  • Take a video of your child reciting it or reading it
  • Show the video to your child
  • Pin the poem written by your child somewhere in your house

That’s it. Now watch what happens! you will be amazed to see the way it will influence the life of your child.

My Song

Let me share one more incident about my daughter.

One day while playing in the house she fell and hurt her knee and started crying. After ensuring that no damage was done to her knee I comforted her and asked her to stand up. But she refused. So I just started reciting a line from the poem, “I get up every time I fall,  …..” She immediately stopped me, completed the lines “Pull myself, to stand strong and tall” and stood up!

You will enjoy many such amazing incidents with your child. Trust me!

By the way, there is no study or research done with this poem. It’s just my perspective, my view. However, it has been seen poetry does have positive effects on children.

By reciting poetry children can learn to use their voice in terms of pitch, voice inflection, and volume. they also develop a sense of rhythm.

Read the 5 Benefits of Poetry Recitation in a Child’s Literacy Development

Remember the future world depends on our children and how we raise them now.

MY SONG

Rashi Ghosh is my name

The girl with lots of love and fame

My family is proud of me

They are the roots…I am the tree

Winning is that all I know

Failure does not make me low

I get up every time I fall

Pull myself up, to stand strong and tall

I turn my critics out of my way

But I do learn from what they say

My goal is clear shining bright

I never keep it out of sight

I Thank You, Lord, for giving me strength

Courage and wisdom to move at length

To care for people of all color and class

And serve my land as long as I last

Note: when your child writes this poem change the two words underlined

My Song

CLICK TO WATCH THE VIDEO ‘MY  SONG

 

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Doctor – Patient Relationship…. Is it at stake?

Doctor – patient relationship was one of the most cherished relationships just a few decades ago.  I remember in my childhood how the doctors were respected and treated in the community. Not only for medical ailments but family physicians were even consulted for other family matters. I remember the way my father who practiced as a Consulting Physician for five decades was looked up by the people in my locality. Being the son of a doctor I enjoyed special status in my peer group too. When I got into medical studies it was no surprise for my friends as most believed ‘a doctor’s child by default will be a doctor.’  I spent days as a child, sitting next to my father watching him treat his patients. The love and care he showed to his patients are still vivid in front of my eyes. I remember the scolding he gave his patients for not following instructions were also blended with lots of love and care.

Today this doctor-patient relationship is something of the past and seems to have vanished somewhere! What could be the causes? Who is responsible? The doctor themselves! The media! The government! Changing society! Who? In my opinion, it is the combination of all these factors. But what is the result? The doctor – patient relationship is destroyed, common men are frustrated and medical professionals have become victims of hatred and anger.

For quite some time now news about physical and verbal assaults on medical professionals are making headlines in Mumbai and other parts of India. Many of course go unreported.

One such recent incident shared by a colleague compelled me to write this article.

My concern is not only because I empathize with my fellow doctors but more importantly for those patients whose relatives and friends engage in such inappropriate behavior.

 Why is an assault on doctors and other medical professionals undesirable or even dangerous?

Did you know that unacceptable behavior by patient’s attendants in the hospital actually harms each and every patient in the hospital?

 Let me explain why it is so.

For your information, only medical knowledge, skills and facilities are not enough for doctors to treat and save lives. It has been seen, the most important factors for better results are creative and mindful thinking by the doctors while treating their patients. What I mean is during critical moments a doctor needs to be more attentive and think about different possible ways and sometimes even create new ones to save your loved ones. I have seen many of my teachers and colleagues go out of the textbook protocols and adopt a completely innovative way to save patients.

Such innovative thinking was the reason of inventions like anesthesia and antibiotics once upon a time. Such inventions have reached new heights in modern times. According to Cleveland Clinic Newsroom some amazing medical innovations will change healthcare in coming years. Let me mention a few interesting ones.

  • Doctors and researchers are now coming out with stents used in coronary angioplasty that will dissolve when the work is done! That means you can get back a much healthier and younger heart!
  • The human genome is being altered by a therapy called CRISPR to eliminate the genetic-based disease.
  • Our body has trillions of helpful bacteria called microbiome. The microbiomes are now being used to prevent, diagnose and treat disease.
  • Ketamine, a drug used for anesthesia is already being used to treat severely depressed patients.
  •  Naturally Controlled Artificial Limbs are being developed

Now, what can act as a hindrance to such creative and innovative thoughts process of the doctors? The only thing that comes in the way of the creative thought process of any person is fear and anxiety.  Research has shown that an anxious and fearful person can never think differently other than of ways to get out of the fearful situation. A fearful person can only think of ways to survive! The fight, flight or freeze response! Doctors are human beings too, by the way!

A fearful and anxious doctor will neither be able to think efficiently in a logical and creative way nor be fully focused on the work at hand. They can still, however, carry on with some of their routine skills which have become more or less automatized with years of practice.  But what about the critical patients where they need to be more mindful and creative?

resident-hospital-maharashtra-resident-doctors-members-association

Image Source -Hindustan Times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once many years back I was witness to an incident where the relatives of a young girl admitted in the casualty started abusing the attending doctor. I too had gone to the hospital to get myself treated for a minor injury. After examining the girl who had a moderate degree of epigastric pain (upper abdominal pain), the doctor asked the attending nurse to give her an injection and get an ECG done followed by a USG abdomen. Hearing about the ECG the relatives became panicky and started asking a lot of questions to the doctor. Having answered all questions to their satisfaction, the doctor then went on to attend another new patient who had entered the casualty by then. In the meantime, a fresh set of friends and relatives of the girl came and bombarded the doctor with the same set of questions asked earlier. The doctor who was busy now with the new patient did not respond much to the questions. This irritated the relatives of the girl who started hurling threats and abusive language at the doctor. In the meantime, the nurse had done the ECG of the girl and handed the strip to the doctor. But the doctor just stood dumb holding the strip and staring at the agitated mob. He even stopped examining the new patient. He just froze with fear. Seeing this I intervened and did some mob control. Thankfully the security personnel also arrived by then.

I have two questions for such attendants as that of the girl.

What is the job of a doctor? To manage a patient with the best of their ability or to keep on answering the same set of question to fresh set of attendants and comfort them?

What is the job of the patient’s attendants? To support the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel or make them more anxious with threats, abuses, and assaults?

 In Government hospitals in India where new patients continuously walk into the casualty, a doctor is not in a position to answer all the questions bombarded continuously by the impatient attendants.

In my experience, many times such misbehavior is committed by attendants who are either just neighbors wanting to show their importance or are relatives who have not cared for the patient back at home and so now act out of guilt.

In my opinion, as a psychiatrist beating up doctors will cause long-lasting changes in the psyche of the doctors as it would to any men who faced such kind of threat. So in future situations, a doctor will act to save their own skin first instead of going out of their way to save patients. Health care can never improve if the ones giving the care are not in their best of mental health. To improve health care system, doctors must be treated with love and respect!

Being a part of the medical community one thing I can say for sure. A doctor will never do something intentionally to harm a patient. Why should they? Their job is to save lives. Yes, I agree doctors do commit mistakes.  After all, they are not God!  The majority of mistakes, however, can be corrected if the doctor remains calm and mindful instead of being in fear and anxiety.

Let us keep all differences aside and build up this loving relationship between a doctor and patient again. Let us show love and respect for each other. Let us start trusting each other again.

It is said, a doctor treats and God cures. So God resides in the hospital too. A hospital must be treated as a place of worship. It is possible. Let us all create an environment in hospitals where a doctor can treat so that HE can cure.

To conclude, the power of mind is amazing and limitless but its function can be blocked by fear.  You can make a person do physical labor with the point of a gun but you cannot make a person think innovatively!

 

 

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