How to Know if You Have a Kinesthetic Child

Children's learning styles are kinesthetic, visual, and auditory. So, how can you know if you have a kinesthetic child?
How to Know if You Have a Kinesthetic Child

Last update: 17 October, 2021

It’s likely that you’ve heard at some point about classifying children as kinesthetic, visual, or auditory, depending on their ability to learn. But is this about learning styles, individual preferences, or neuromyths? And is there such thing as a kinesthetic child? Let’s find out together.

Learning styles

Children’s learning can be achieved through different sensory pathways: Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK). Depending on the learning style that the child prefers, it’s possible to educate them by emphasizing their strengths. (Dunn & Price, 1984)

However, according to Ferrero, this definition only refers to the modality under which a student prefers to learn. But this doesn’t mean that they really learn with it.

We could also infer that, as it occurs through different sensory pathways, learning is processed in different areas of the brain and independently. But this is wrong, as sensory processing involves all learning.

The truth is that each person learns in a unique way, through different strategies, at their own pace, and with a different approach depending on the motivation they have.

For this reason, it’s important to avoid classifying students based on preferred learning styles, because it doesn’t determine their ability to learn. Rather, this ability develops and evolves continuously and differently in each child.

A child's brain full of drawings of different objects.

Educational neuroscience, a scientific contribution

Educational neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system, applied to the educational process of teaching and learning.

Using EEG or imaging studies, researchers can assess brain activity during cognition and determine how each person learns.

One of the great contributions of educational neuroscience is the notion that the brain forms connection networks between neurons during the educational process, and this, in turn, determines a particular behavior.

Therefore, knowing how a student learns serves as a tool for teachers to promote facilitating experiences for each child.

The neuromyth of the kinesthetic child

In recent years, there’s been an increase in the circulation of information about learning styles and educational approaches, without scientific support to back it up. This is known as a neuromyth.

“Neuroeducation generally comprehends neuromyths as false ideas, beliefs, interpretations, or extrapolations that have transcended public opinion, despite having been banished or invalidated by neuroscience.”

-John Geake-

One of the neuromyths that we still hear regarding the teaching-learning process is that of the kinesthetic child. This idea refers to the child’s ability to learn through movement, but it doesn’t necessarily define their qualities.

Learning and movement

Educational neuroscience has shown us that movement favors the child’s control over their body and their thoughts.

In this sense, the activities that produce movement allow the brain to create connections with all its areas: Visual, auditory, sensory, language, among others.

This favors the integral development of the child, as it’s related to the processes of attention, self-regulation, memory, language learning, and self-esteem, among others.

Individual preferences for learning

Learning is a concrete process, based on biological, psychological, and social factors. What’s more, people have different preferences for learning, which depend, to a large extent, on the experiences we’ve had. Likewise, they depend on the strategies that have given us good results in different circumstances.

Children lying on the floor working on math worksheets.

About learning in children

So, after reviewing the learning styles, individual preferences, and neuromyths, we can conclude that children develop their learning through movements and sensory experiences that favor cognition. So, let’s keep using movement!

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