how we learn

I admit to being someone who has problems with spelling. What’s interesting about this is that I love the sound of words and the way they come together to create meaning. I also love to write. So when I recently asked my husband how to spell a word, which no matter how I typed it into the computer I couldn’t come up with the correct spelling, he didn’t hesitate. What got me thinking was how easily he came up with the right letters, while I struggled with them. When I asked him about this, he told me he visualizes words first in his head before writing them down. Now I’ve always considered myself a visual person, but when it comes to words I realized I hear them…I don’t visualize them. It got me thinking. I wanted to know why my brain processes words the way it does and what effect it might have on my artwork?

As it turns out there are three types of learning: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual learners are people who need quiet to study, are good at spelling, like charts, are list makers, use colored highlighters, read maps well and take time to think out what they want to say. What’s funny about this is how accurately it describes my husband. He is definitely a visual learner.

On the other hand, I’m an auditory learner. I learn by talking and listening to what is said. I tend to think out loud to hear my thoughts. I feel sometimes I’m a sponge soaking up sound. I can’t paint without listening to a recorded book on my IPhone. It seems 20 % of the population are auditory learners.

A kinesthetic learner is a person who is tactile and learns by touch. They are active and their work is more physical such as dancers and surgeons. These learners need to move around while learning and make up 5% of the population.

As a teacher of art I see all the different types of learning and what makes this interesting to me is how art is created by these different artists. The way an artist learns must have an effect on the kind of art produced. It makes sense that the way you learn gives you a certain proclivity to the way subject matter is processed.