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Intelligent Child Topics..

You are here : home > Intelligent Child > Enhancing your Child's Intelligence > The Looker, the Mover and the Listener

The Looker, the Mover and the Listener

Based on the book 'How to Maximize Your Child's Learning Ability' by Dr. Lauren Bradway and Barbara Albers Hill

Parents Need Help

It begins with play schools, goes on to interviews to get admission to kindergartens and school, then come the tests and examinations-These are the stepping stones in the lives of today's parents and children. The pressure is on from the day the children are born and life seems to leap from one examination to the other. It's not enough that children merely achieve academically, they have to be all-rounders too. So you have harassed mothers and fathers ferrying their children to swimming lessons, art class, piano lessons, pottery classes, etc. Yet, you have children that just don't seem to fall into line. Like the boy who is an excellent tennis player, but has no interest in schoolwork. Or the girl who does brilliantly in written examinations, but miserably in oral presentations. Or the child that excels at creative writing, but cannot seem to add two numbers together. Given this scenario, parents are always looking for ways by which they could explore the full potential of their children's abilities while trying to make learning an enjoyable experience at the same time. The book 'How to Maximize Your Child's Learning Ability' by Dr. Lauren Bradway and Barbara Albers Hill could furnish parents with some valuable tips. 

The Theory

Dr. Bradway is a speech-language pathologist who has written this book based on twenty years of practical experience. Based on extensive observation, she has come to the conclusion that children have distinctive learning styles. She believes that a child's learning style in his infancy influences his ability to socialize, and to perform athletically and academically later in life. Every child has a specific way of absorbing information. Some learn best through visual stimulation; others are more responsive to sound and language; while some learn more quickly through touch and motion. Therefore, she has broadly classified children into three categories based on their preferred learning style: the Lookers, the Listeners, and the Movers. 

A. The Looker

The lookers are children who respond best to visual stimulation like motion, colour, shape, and size. They are usually gifted with excellent hand-eye coordination. They are particularly good at fine motor skills that involve both the eyes and small muscles like the fingers. Their habit is to look at something new and then use their hands to demonstrate what they have learned about it. These babies are the kind that will love turning the pages of a book to stare at the pictures without being particularly bothered about listening to the story. In the toddler stage, they will prefer puzzles, blocks, cutting and pasting or any other activity that enables them to use their eyes and hands. As they grow older, parents of lookers will notice that these children are more likely to be drawn to board games, to doing art and craft assignments, and to display a fascination with computers, calculators and video games. However, lookers will have to improve their language and social skills and their full-body coordination. 

B. The Listener

As expected, listeners are more inclined to sounds and words rather than touch and visual stimuli. These children tend to start speaking at an earlier age and usually have large vocabularies. Listeners usually love music and singing and reciting rhymes and songs. They speak with clarity and precision and love reading aloud. They develop a love for reading at an early age and their play often involves making up stories and acting them out with friends. However, since they are so focused on aural stimuli and language, they have a tendency to lag behind in visual and motor areas. 

C. The Mover

The movers learn through touch and movement. They prefer the hands-on approach to learning. They enjoy large-muscle activity involving the hands, legs, arms and feet. They are restless, squirming infants that can only be calmed by cuddling and rocking. The movers develop the ability to walk and crawl at an early age. They enjoy physical activities like running, jumping, climbing, etc. They excel in sport and outdoor activity. However, their boundless, restless energy makes them fidgety and easily distracted which can be a disadvantage in the classroom. They are impatient and easily frustrated as a result of which they are quick to abandon difficult tasks. Their concentration on the physical to the exclusion of visual and aural stimuli works to their detriment in the academic field.

The Application

The book includes Learning Style QuickChecks for both parents and children of different ages ranging from infancy to puberty that are aimed at helping parents to identify their own as well as their children's learning styles. Once you have done this, the next step is to use this knowledge to chose toys and activities that will develop your child's weaker skills and reinforce his natural strengths. Dr. Bradway has observed that till parents recognize their own learning style, they just assume that their children absorb information in the same way that they do. In addition, parents have a natural tendency to expose their children to the kind of stimulation that they enjoy themselves. A child will react to this by either encouraging or discouraging the stimulation depending on his particular learning style. But even if the child rebuffs a parent's attempts at interaction, they should persist in their attempts in order to foster the all-round development of the child.

The earlier the parents identify their child's learning style, the more time they will have to guide his play, activities and interaction to equip him with skills that will help him in the classroom. The fact is that both schoolwork and socializing rely on a combination of several abilities. It is not as if children who have been left to their own devices have not managed to go through life. But a child who uses all his senses is bound to be more successful. The aim of the book is to show parents that while a child's learning style may be inborn, parents can help them develop other ways of learning and thus ensure a more well-rounded development. 

It is common knowledge that raising children can never be subject to any kind of formula. The authors of the book make it clear that their suggestions are merely guidelines and not rules written in stone. That would defeat the purpose, as each child is unique. In addition, parents should feel free to move beyond these suggestions and explore other options. The goal is not to make your child top of the class, or a candidate for the Olympics, or Prime Minister. Parents should use these techniques to ensure that their children become happy and well-adjusted individuals.

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shweta.5 years ago
thanx for this article..
Amit Pai.8 years ago
this is a very interesting article. after reading these theories, i do believe that children are intrinsically different and that they should be taught things differently. my son aditya is certainly a mover.
Indira Goswami.8 years ago
thanks for writing this article. saves us working mothers a lot of time because we don't find the time to read books on parenting.
George D'Souza.8 years ago
is there a way that we can buy this book from your site? i would love to read the book because i am a children's counsellor and it would be very helpful.
Celia Menezes.8 years ago
thanks to your article, i got some interesting tips in maximizing my childs learning abilities. i would definitely like to read the book to get more detailed information. i do hope i can find it in some local bookshop.
my daughter is very intelligent but is not able to concentrate on one topic very easily she has to be forced down to sit quitely sometimes to concentrate in her present task how can you help me out to make best of her
Punam.8 years ago
i need more specific information and advise for children of the middle school level.
roopa shanbhag.8 years ago
you have given useful information on parenting b ut as this topic is so complicated i will be greatful if you give me some tips on how to raise children between ages 2 and 10 and some guidelines for their personality development.
Purva.8 years ago
my daughter is 17 months old and i feel that she is both a looker and a listener.however i feel that she is weak in socialising and therefore i feel that i should try to concentrate on her weakness more than her strengths to make her more versatile.
swati.8 years ago
my daughter i feel is very intelligent but i cannot make her sit at one place without moving, she keeps on fidgeting, what should i do please any advice
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