Posted on Monday, November 21, 2016 by Kokila 2 minutes
In today’s post, we look at the link between Art and “Visual Spatial thinking”.
Visual Spatial thinking “finds meaning in the shape, size, orientation, location, direction or trajectory, of objects,” and their relative positions. It also “uses the properties of space as a vehicle for structuring problems, for finding answers, and for expressing solutions.”
Visual Spatial Intelligence can be seen in the imaginative play of children involving pretending to make themselves invisible or imagining themselves to be on a great journey to magical times and places. We use this intelligence when we draw pictures to express our thoughts and feelings, or when we decorate a room to create a certain mood. We use it when we use a map successfully to get someplace we want to go. It is also the mode of thought we use to imagine different visual perspectives. Are two given shapes different? Or are they identical and merely oriented differently?
Researchers have elaborately discussed visual-spatial thinking and here is how visual-spatial learners are differentiated from everyone else (also dubbed as “auditory-sequential learners”).
|Auditory-Sequential Thinkers||Visual-Spatial Thinkers|
|Thinks primarily in words||Thinks primarily in pictures|
|Has auditory strengths||Has visual strengths|
|Relates well to time||Relates well to space|
|Is a step-by-step learner||Is a whole-part learner|
|Learns by trial and error||Learns concepts all at once|
|Progresses sequentially from easy to difficult material||Learns complex concepts easily and struggles with “easy” skills|
|Is an analytical thinker||Is a good synthesizer|
|Attends well to details||Sees the big picture, may miss details|
|Follows oral directions well||Reads maps well|
|Does well at arithmetic||Is better at math reasoning than computation|
|Learns phonics easily||Learns whole words easily|
|Can sound out spelling words||Must visualize words to spell them|
|Can write quickly and neatly||Prefers keyboarding to writing|
|Is well-organized||Creates unique methods of organization|
|Can show steps of work easily||Arrives at correct solutions intuitively|
|Excels at rote memorization||Learns best by seeing relationships|
|Has good auditory short-term memory||Has good long-term visual memory|
|May need some repetition to reinforce learning||Learns concepts permanently; is turned off by drill and repetition|
|Learns well from instructions||Develops own methods of problem solving|
|Learns in spite of emotional reactions||Is very sensitive to teachers’ attitudes|
|Is comfortable with one right answer||Generates unusual/multiple solutions to problems|
|Develops fairly evenly||Develops quite asynchronously|
|Usually maintains high grades||May have very uneven grades|
|Enjoys algebra and chemistry||Enjoys geometry and physics|
|Learns languages in class||Masters other languages through immersion|
|Is academically talented||Is creatively, mechanically, emotionally, or technologically gifted|
|Is an early bloomer||Is a late bloomer|
Experiments suggest that we can. Here are some art projects we can resort to.
Thomas Edison—famous for developing the light bulb and more than 1,000 patents—was fascinated with mechanical objects at an early age. He once said: “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” He wasn’t joking. According to an 1887 news article, his lab was stocked with chemicals, screws, needles, cords, wires, hair, silk, cocoons, hoofs, shark’s teeth, deer horns, cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, amber, rubber, ores, minerals, and numerous other things. So, pulling out things from the recycle bin, you and your child can have a lot of fun putting together 3-dimensional projects. You can make castles, robots, dinosaurs, machines, costumes and more. Clay and Play-Doh are other options for 3-D creations.
Kids can be guided to paint a picture by looking at their surroundings. They can be taken to a garden or a park and asked to sketch or paint whatever they see in their mind. They may produce detailed spontaneous drawings in perspective of favorite objects such as buildings or animals from various vantage points.Hence,it enhances their understanding of the natural spaces around them.
The word collage comes from the French verb coller, which means “to glue.” Making collages not only improves visual spatial intelligence, but also introduces kids to a whole lot of media, textures, patterns, estimating , comparing, fine motor skills and better hand-eye coordination.
Mosaic art is the art of putting together or assembling of small pieces of paper, tiles, marble, stones, etc. It helps in improving spatial and visual organisation (basics of geometry).
In addition to these art projects, there are many more ways to improve the visual-spatial intelligence in kids, such as playing construction games like Legos or Mega Bloks, playing with tangrams and jigsaw puzzles, games that involve visual or mental rotation of objects and shapes.
So what are you waiting for ? Get set and embark on a journey to try and explore these strategies and discover the strength of your ‘Visual – Spatial Thinkers’!
KQED News / Mindshift by Jonathan Wai