Expert Articles

Early Childhood Learning Model

Author: Scarlett Tsoi
Psychological Counsellor

In the process of learning, is nature or nurture more important? Why do some young children struggle to learn effectively? One possible reason is that parents overlook their child’s “preferred learning pattern.”

Nature and Nurture Theories

The “psychological nativism” theory suggests that children have innate learning abilities, and as long as they are exposed to appropriate external conditions, their learning potential can be realized. The “nurture theory” supporters argue that learning occurs through two pathways: imitation and reinforcement. Additionally, the “interaction between environment and individual theory” suggests that learning is the result of the interaction between innate genetic abilities and environmental factors. Therefore, understanding a child’s learning pattern is one way to explore the interaction between innate and external factors.

Three learning patterns

Young children primarily receive information through three sensory organs: vision, hearing, and touch. They learn from the external world through these senses and engage in imitation and reinforcement. In the brain’s functioning, one sensory organ naturally develops as a dominant channel for receiving information, known as the “preferred learning pattern.” The three learning patterns are visual learning, auditory learning, and tactile learning.

Visual Learning: This pattern involves observing the environment through the eyes, having keen visual perception, and enjoying colours, images, shapes, and sizes. These children prefer processing information through visual reception, enabling them to understand and remember content. Tips for visual learners: Visual learners have a faster learning ability, so using images, drawings, mind maps, and video instruction can be effective. Rich colours and memorable scenes leave a deep impression on them.

Auditory Learning: These children prefer receiving information through sound stimuli. Compared to pictures or text, they are more attentive to sounds or melodies. They have strong language abilities and excel in verbal expression. Tips for auditory learners: They enjoy listening through reading aloud, learning in a quiet environment, and benefiting from singing and storytelling, which help with concentration and memory. Recording devices are effective tools, and playing recordings for themselves can yield better results.

Tactile Learning: These children learn through touch and movement. They enjoy participating and experimenting, learning by doing, and trying out new information and things. Tips for tactile learners: Provide them with opportunities for role-playing and experiential activities. They prefer learning through hands-on experiences and may not necessarily sit still. Supplementing with drawings, explanations, and incorporating physical movements can aid memory.

Each learning pattern has its advantages and disadvantages. The most important thing is for parents to understand their child’s individual traits. Every child is unique, so tailoring the approach to each child’s needs and abilities will yield optimal results.

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Early Childhood Learning Model