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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Perceptual thinking - How Children Learn in An Optimal Manner by Using this Principle

By Andrew Loh

Normally, learning occurs among children when they respond to a range of specific stimuli or triggering of information. When they are exposed to a specific external or internal stimulus, their brains start sequencing available information that eventually fosters in meaningful learning. A child's perceptual system is an amazing tool to enhance his or her ability to respond to any given environmental impetus. In other words, perceptual learning is a great way to bring long-lasting and positive changes in the life of a child. Every child also has a definite pattern of learning and usually it connects perceptual thinking systems. In other words, a child always possesses a particular perceptual thinking pattern that results in productive learning.

Perceptual thinking patterns always lead to learning in different formats. Based on different stimuli, children tend to learn different ways. Let us look at the following scenarios:

1) Is your child highly perceptive to noise around him? Does he find it difficult to learn, when there is too much noise in the classroom? If so, then your child is extremely perceptive to noise stimulus and he may not learn effectively in presence of external sound.

2) Similarly, does your child love to read in the backyard garden? Is so, she gets her stimulus to learn by looking at the greenery and colorful flowers. In addition, she may also absorb her lessons by mingling with the nature around her.

These examples highlight the importance of triggers in learning process. Every person learns by responding to certain stimulus and often, stimuli and perception are interrelated. For example, in the first illustration, the child perceives that the background noise is a distraction for learning while this distraction acts as a stimulus for not learning the lessons.

The word perception is defined as “the state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way.” In other words, in the example highlighted above, children become aware of something (noise and nature) in way that these trigger act as either obstacle or encouraging to the learning process.

Children never learn in a similar manner. Each one of them has a definite pattern of learning that depends on their level and extent of perception. In a traditional classroom, teachers who handle the class think that learning happens in a similar fashion among all children and they tend to make a generalized statement about this matter. More often, this process of thinking is stereotype in nature, as children never learn in a similar fashion just because their level and type of perceptions are entirely different. On the corollary, we also believe that children should learn lesson the way their teacher feel, think and perceives. If your children are learning patterns are different, then you may need to find a way to teach them in an effective manner.

Fortunately, there is a way to sort out learning problem among children. Every child processes available information in a different manner. Based on this assumption, children can understand, comprehend and learn something in six different ways. Children are very smart in the way they perceive, gather, pool and process a set of data available around them. In other words, they create their learning channels and stimuli sets to learn their lessons. All children process information in the following manner:

  1. First, a child will perceive the presence of a specific stimulus around her or him.

  2. Second, the child in question would segregate the available set of perceptions into different learning patterns into various channels like Conscious, subconscious and unconscious channels.

  3. Third, each one of these mental channels are triggered by one of the three main stimulus.

The main advantages of using these sequential methods are as follows:

  • Enhanced attention

  • Increased focus

  • Better comprehension

  • Enhanced ability to accumulate ideas together to form a single, whole concept

  • Better imagination and creativity

What is a conscious channel?

Conscious channel caters to short-term memory and thoughts are stored in the brain until such a time when it is ready to process them. By using this channel, children could easily enhance attention span, sort out information, stay logical and indexed and finally express their minds in a clear manner. Conscious channel is a stay awake type of channel where humans perceive that there is something that needs to be triggered or activated immediately.

What is Subconscious channel?

Some bits of information are stored in the subconscious areas of the brain. Here, children can go through different ideas and information and sort them out to create a meaningful pattern. The perceive ideas gathered by children are in a mismatched state here. However, children are aware of the fact that inputs absorbed by the brain actually exist and that they can reach the level of attention so that they can understand the basic concepts. This channel acts as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious channels.

What is unconscious channel?

A unconscious channel means is a care-free zone where a high level of relaxation occurs. The brain can see the bright and big picture through this channel. Children will be at their creative best in this channel. Children will also create long memory chains to hold information and details.

Lastly, children should know how to use all these channels in an effective manner to speed up learning process. In the next article, let us learn how parents could use these basic principles to boost learning in children. Continue to read Using Perceptual Thinking to Help Children and Learn in an Optimal Manner


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