Friday, June 7, 2013

Visual Processing: Seeing is Learning, or is It?

Do you ever wonder if children are affected by what they see?  What are they really thinking?  Getting to conclusive answers is difficult at the least and impossible at most.  However, the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC)theory may give some insight on how children process visually and what they might or could be learning from it all.

Visual processing is the focus of this fourth blog that addresses the 10 broad abilities in the CHC theory. An awareness of these broad abilities can help parents and teachers promote cognitive development using a model that is supported by educational professionals and psychologists.

So, you might ask, What is visual processing? How do children use it? How might it relate to intellectual development?

Each day as you arrive home your 3-year-old daughter races excitedly to the stack of puzzles, saying, “Dad, the animal puzzle! Will you help me?”

A child’s ability to recognize and interpret what he sees is called visual processing.  When children use puzzles to fit knobs and corners together, or match up colors and shapes, they are processing AND learning visually!

As they grow, children can connect language to what they see. Playing games like I Spy can enhance an understanding of visual-spatial relationships. Manipulatives, such as blocks, Legos, pegs and puzzles as well as picture books, all promote visual processing skills (Lynch & Warner, 2013).

On your next visit to DuPage Children's Museum, enhance your visual processing skills!  Stop by the Creativity Connections Neighborhood and spend some time at one of our puzzle tables or fit together translucent vinyl shapes to recreate a Chagall!

Resource: Lynch, Sharon A. and Warner, L. 2013. “How Adults Foster Young Children’s Intellectual Development.” In Young Children, Vol. 68, No. 2, 86-91. Washington, DC: NAEYC.

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