What is Visual-Spatial Intelligence?

Visual-Spatial Intelligence is a learning style that involves perceiving the visual world properly and making transformations on this perception when necessary. Visual-Spatial Intelligence, one of the eight learning styles defined in Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, provides the capacity to create mental examples of visual information and use it when the time comes. Visual Spatial Intelligence, which enables to establish relationships between objects, includes skills such as finding the place – direction, being aware of the environment and the place, visualizing the events encountered in the mind and making observations.

Piaget says that spatial intelligence begins in the sensory-motor period and the process that emerges by following the objects continues by gaining concreteness in the school period. According to him, the school-age child can visualize how an object is viewed from different angles. When he enters the formal period, he comes to a level where he can establish a relationship between objects and events.

Although spatial intelligence is understood to be related to vision, research on visually impaired individuals has revealed that this type of intelligence is not only related to vision. The existence of people whose painting skills are highly developed even though they cannot see or have a mental disability, shows that spatial intelligence can also develop on their own.

The thinking styles of people with Visual-Spatial Intelligence type and the products they produce may differ according to the time and environment they live in. Pictures of planets and stars drawn to calculate the harvest time of the crops in the field and painting an artistic painting that comes to mind are examples of having this type of intelligence.

Visual-Spatial learners recognize shapes easily and can easily remember the shapes they have learned. These people, who can describe what they see around them in a graphic language by establishing a relationship between colors and shapes, can visualize concepts with their mental powers.

Although people with this learning style are good at painting the whole, they can sometimes overlook the details. These individuals, who have difficulty in comprehending the processing steps, learn more easily with visual information rather than auditory information, can grasp it at once, have a developed imagination, and find unusual and unexpected ways to solve problems.

Children who learn easily in this intelligence style like art lessons, drawing activities, and disciplines that require computer technologies. A child has several types of intelligence at the same time, according to studies that reveal 30% of students are Visually-Spatially strong. In this respect, it would not be wrong to say that people with other intelligence types also tend to this learning style.

Children inclined to visual-spatial learning have developed the capacity to find direction, establish relationships between objects, visualize in their minds, and have a wide imagination. They can easily reveal the similarities and differences between entities. For these children whose best learning, memory and remembering methods are sight, the best way to express themselves is painting and they learn more permanently with pictures and shapes. These children, who have a great visual memory, also have the ability to solve visual problems and make predictions.

In mathematics, they learn more easily when problems with stories are used instead of equations consisting of numbers only. They are more successful in geometry because they contain shapes in the numerical domain. These children, who may also have difficulties with handwriting, are known as “late bloomers” because they begin to show more success in academic life when they reach the age where they can be better at grasping all concepts.

Children with Visual-Spatial Intelligence who see professions in fields such as architecture, design, drawing, photography, piloting, construction, advertising suitable for them, also want to pursue careers in physics, engineering, astronomy, mathematics and surgery, and are interested in many types of art.

In the classrooms where children who are thought to have this type of intelligence, it can be beneficial to make use of methods and techniques containing interesting visuals, pictures, tables, graphics, computer and tablet games, videos, in addition to traditional learning methods, in order to make their learning effective and permanent.

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