The Visual Learner


A visual learner learns best through seeing / watching pictures or visual materials. Almost 80% of what we learn is through our sight.
As an educator or parent it is important to understand your own learning style, as often this is the style that you will use when interacting with a student. It is not, however, the way the student learns best, although combining all the methods in a training program is best for understanding to take place.
Visual learners often enjoy reading, especially books with pictures, colours in the material as well as painting, arts and crafts with a good spatial understanding of what you see. For something to make sense to a visual learner, they need to see it.

Visual learners:

• Prefer to SEE what they are learning about
• Enjoy doodling with listening to teaching
• More easily remember visual details
• Tend to draw or write things down
• Are often organised with tidy learning habits
• Can visually organise information
• Have a good sense of direction
• Find it easier to put their ideas down as visual representation eg drawing how they feel.
• Learn through multimedia

Helping a visual learner:

• Use graphical representation, pictures for telling stories, number and word cards.
• Use mind maps
• Story maps - visual sequencing of a story
• Use colours in your teaching
• Replace words with pictures
• Use the white board/blackboard/smart board or paper to draw
• Have a practical example available of the craft available for them to understand the task better
• Use items which are easy to find, to represent what you need to portray, eg explaining directions, use small and big stones to represent buildings, leaves to cars, sticks for people etc.
• Have a visual table according to the theme that is being taught eg Red: bring as many red things for the children to see and associate the colour red with the wording R-E-D
• Give them time to draw / write eg for pre-school ages, learners can trace over the letters or numbers they are learning about.

Visual learning and the brain:

The visual learning centre of the brain is in the occipital lobes at the back and bottom of the skull. This interacts with the temporal and parietal lobe (sides of the skull) for spatial orientation.

Safety notes

• Playground safety measures influence visual learning

Falling on, and damaging the back of the child’s head when using the jungle gym, bicycles or rough play can cause visual issues such as temporary blindness, concussion, and also impact the visual learning centre of the brain, thus the safety rules eg wearing helmets when cycling is valid in protecting your sight.

• How to check whether a child has injured their occipital lobe during an accident:

*Let them sit down quietly out of the sun. 
*Hold up some fingers and ask them whether they can point to each finger, closing one eye at a time. 
*Check the pupils of the eyes are equal, and in sunlight the pupils will be small. 
*The pupils in a shaded or darker area should both go bigger and be of equal size.