Teaching Students Using the Senses

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When it comes to teaching students, knowing the primary sense system of each student is absolutely crucial.  In fact, this might be the most important part of your job as a teacher.

Have you ever taken the time to find out how a student learns with their senses?  It is really quite easy to do and it is so important.

You see, each and every one of us experiences the world through a primary sense system.  The three main sense systems for humans are visual, audio, and kinesthetic.


However, we are continuously bombarded with stimuli from every direction so our brain has learned how to filter that stimuli.  Through this process each person has a primary sense system, a sense system by which it is easiest to take in and retain information.

To find your students’ primary sense system all you have to do is listen to the way in which they speak.

Do they think something “looks good” or do they have a “gut feeling” that they did poorly on a test or do they “hear you” when you speak to them?  Each student will have a primary sense system and they will act and react based on that sense system.  What you need to do is understand how they act and react.

Understand a student?  Yes, it can be done, when you look through the window of their primary sense system.

1. A visual student is stimulated by images and has an external focus.  This means that the visual person is easily distracted by external stimuli and they are also easily distracted by the visions in their mind’s eye.

2.An audio person responds to noise of any kind and they are often distracted by noises.  These students are the ones who get the most out of speaking and listening to someone speak.  They are also often seen listening to internal dialogue and can be seen with their hand in a telephone position on their head and with their head nodding slightly as they listen to that internal dialogue.

3.  The kinesthetic students are the fidgety students.  They are the ones who can’t seem to sit still and their eyes will be averted.  They also need to touch and be touched.  These students need to hold something and fidget in order to for information to be input.  They are also the note takers in class so let them do so.  When helping that student directly, touching them while speaking to them is important.

Now, may be you can understand the students in your class a little better.

To summarize, when teaching students with different primary sense systems you need to:

  1. Determine each student’s primary sense system
  2. Teach in a multi-sensory fashion using the three primary sense systems

Once you are teaching in this fashion, you can help the students learn about their primary sense system and they will have solid knowledge of the way in which they learn the best.  Then they will be set for lifelong learning that will be of great benefit to them.

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