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 Visual-Spatial and/or Auditory-Sequential Learning


The majority of children learn from birth up to approx. 6 years of age visually. As soon as they begin to move, the spatial perception starts to develop. They continue to experience the world visually as well as spatially until they begin with formal education. Having started with school, most children process information auditory-sequentially. But there are many who continue to learn in a visual-spatial way.

A recent study in the US with 750 4th to 6th grade pupils from urban as well as rural backgrounds showed that 30% of the children learned exclusively in a visual-spatial way and a further 30% rather in a visual-spatial way. This amounts to 2/3 of all pupils. The remainder learn mainly auditory-sequentially. This leads to the conclusion that the majority of children would learn more efficiently in a visual-spatial manner.

In former generations the syllabus was imparted auditory-sequentially, meaning verbal. For example in math’s the children learned first to recognize the number symbols and only than the phonetic term. This too happens sequentially. The same method is also being applied in most of the other subjects.

The question must be allowed why school education is still primarily auditory-sequentially, if most children learn visual-spatially?

Children who have learning problems at school are more often than not diagnosed with learning disabilities and sometimes even treated medically. Studies prove very clearly that many of these children have not learning disabilities, they just learn in a different manner.

To put it simple, it is not the question what is being taught at school but how we learn to perceive, to understand and to apply our knowledge. Learning and thinking through auditory-sequential learning is not unsuitable or wrong but insufficient. Children must experience both methods in order to learn efficiently.