The kinesthetic learners who are also known as tactile learners, grasp things in a better manner by actually doing them. Performing a physical activity associated with learning, rather than mere reading or listening, helps them to understand things quickly. Instead of premeditating or thinking about a particular activity in advance, they resort to trying out things and understand them in the due process. They form 15% of the total population of the world.
The characteristics given below should be useful in understanding about their behavioral patterns and needs. Teachers, parents, and the learners themselves can make most of the information presented below.
- Owing to their restless disposition, they are deemed as hyperactive in childhood.
- They have a habit of tapping feet, moving their legs, wiggling, etc.
- The energy or probably the urge of making movements continuously should help them to become good athletes, dancers, actors, etc.
- It is observed that they are good at sculpting, repairing, painting, woodworking, and many things which require working with tools.
- Their hand-eye coordination is quite sharp; a strong sense of timing is one of their special characteristics.
- Curiosity and interest in exploring the surroundings are amongst the important features of their personality. In childhood, they are inclined towards craft works like making paper airplanes, etc.
- These people can't help but take frequent breaks while reading. They have a habit of lying down while studying.
- Also, they are inclined towards touching people while they speak with them.
Having a coach for these students can be really helpful. The coach not only teaches them stuff, but also acts as a support system in difficult times. Coaches help students in setting appropriate goals, taking into account their specific needs. In short, he helps such students to stay on track.
How to Teach them?
The teaching process and methods should include activities which provide them with hands-on experience. The following methods can be useful.
- Tactile learners should be allowed to draw, paint, sculpt, and do many such things which help channelize their energy.
- They have good observations skills, which help them in seeing a particular thing and trying it out. Teaching efforts need to be taken in this direction.
- For children who have just started learning alphabets, the use of magnetic letters or letter tiles is recommended. Board games, spelling games, etc., need to be incorporated in the teaching process.
- For teaching numbers and related concepts, one should make use of monkey bars. Using such tools gives them a feel of exploring things. Tapping/clapping out the letter and numbers that are taught should help in memorizing quite easily.
- They should be encouraged to write on a regular basis. This activity involves movements and it also helps in repeating things being taught. Learning process is greatly benefited from this activity.
- Engaging these students in laboratory work is necessary, because it provides them with hands-on experience of concepts being learned during classroom sessions.
- The knowledge of past experiences or learning is used by these learners for trial and error activities they undertake. They need to experiment constantly with what they do. It helps them to minimize the mistakes of the past.
- The tools like flow charts, maps, and such visual things can help them in grasping the concepts quickly. However, it would be important to note that the process of creating such graphs, flow charts, and drawings is useful and not the later part of studying them.
- Online learning is better suited for them than others. Of course, they have to do a lot of reading while studying online. However, the interactive tools available on the Internet should encourage them to 'go' for learning activities, rather than sitting back and absorbing things that are taught in classrooms.