A vital part of creating mental images and hence learning is the quality of those images. And this is where parents can really help. Talk to your children about their images, this will help them to develop their occipital region. Don’t forget it is their pictures and they may not be the same as yours, especially if you have a very creative child – there is no right and wrong with mental imagery. Are the pictures:
- Still v moving – they need to have choice
- 1 screen v multiple screens – 1 screen is needed for literacy and numeracy
- Distorted or have moving text
- Enabling mental arithmetic
- Location – they need to be In a convenient place, maybe about 2 metres from your head and slightly up . Certainly not behind you, in the cupboard, behind a curtain or 2 football pitches away. You don’t want to look down when trying to create pictures.
- Are they black and white or coloured? Can you change the colour?
- Are they in 2D or 3D ? Proof readers have wrong words jumping out the paper, people with poor literacy often have all the words jumping out the paper, because they don’t have any pattern match from their word store. Letters and words moving is a give away that people are not storing words or can’t access the ones they have.
Take a look at Bridges to Success – How to Transform Learning Difficulties, for many more insights.
You won’t know about the mental images a child has unless you ask them. All you need to do is. For example, ask the question “when you see a cat just describe it” and you may be amazed to hear the qualities of their pictures. They need to be able make conscious choices for example between still and moving pictures and not be “stuck in movies”.
Under trained mental images can contribute to many learning difficulties, for example:
- Not visualising still words – poor literacy, dyslexia
- Not visualising still numbers – poor numeracy, dyscalculia
- Mental imagery moving too much – wobbly, dyspraxia
- Multiple simultaneous video screens – ADHD
- Astounding visual recall and very confused visual construct (frightened by the future) – Autism
- 3D mental imagery – great for creativity, inappropriate for literacy and numeracy
- Obsession with the way a word sounds, with no understanding of the meaning – Hyperlexia
- Out of control mental imagery – any of the above
At Empowering Learning we help people explore their own mental images and teach them very simple skills to access the best mental images for them. We offer on-line and in person training through a network of practitioners worldwide. just mail me firstname.lastname@example.org to mind out more, for free. www.empoweringlearning.co.uk