A post on the “Power in Art” blog outlines the difference between visual and auditory learners. There’s a great passage positing the idea that as a culture we cultivate visual learners, while our education system is based on an auditory model.
From infanthood, today’s students have been exposed to an incessant supply of visual stimuli via television, books, video-games, and computers. Some studies are even showing that as a result of the continual stimuli, the visual pathways in children’s brains are actually changing. Though this influx of visual stimuli is certainly a controversial topic – one side of the debate arguing that children should be taught to learn the “way they used to,” the other that children are now better multi-taskers and problem solvers; the fact is, that regardless of which side of the fence we’re on, today’s culture is cultivating the visual learner. Stimulating imagery is now the language we communicate with on a global level. We gather most of our information from a visual source. Whether it is a highway billboard, a monitor or an iphone, visual communication is the medium that children are using to gather (and retain) their information as well. If our education system won’t learn to speak their language, we risk the chance of not only leaving students disinterested in the classroom – we run the risk of leaving them behind completely.