It’s common to hear people say, “I’m a visual learner,” but research doesn’t support the idea that learning styles like visual or auditory learning are inherent traits. That doesn’t mean learners don’t have preferences, but only one flawed study found that people actually learned better when information was presented in their preferred style. Instead, it seems that most people learn the best when information is presented in multiple ways, especially when one of them is visual.
“We are essentially walking talking vision-processing machines,” writes Dan Roam, author of Back of the Napkin, a bestselling book on how visual language affects business. “Our brain does a lot of stuff, but close to half of what we’re doing is seeing the world, all the time.”
So it’s really no surprise that a lot of people say they need to see something to remember it, a fact teachers should keep in mind when trying to reach students.
Hank Green lays it all out in this short SciShow episode.