Visual Teaching or Visual Learning?

Filed Under (UnLearning Difficulties With NLP) on 11-09-2011

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One of the challenges of teaching is that when the teacher can’t see what a learner is visualizing, there’s nothing for the teacher to mark / evaluate.  When visualization skills surpass a learner’s written or artistic abilities, your only way to find out what a learner is seeing in his/her imagination is to ask.  You may be amazed at how immensely creative this person’s mind is and how very different this creation is from yours!  You can gain some information by
watching the position and focus of the person’s eyes.  If the person is looking up, s/he will be accessing his/her pictures.  The eye movements may even tell you whether the person is seeing still or moving pictures.  Take time to observe.  If the person seems tranced out, s/he may be enjoying a movie in which s/he may be starring.  You may have noticed people smiling in a way which seems random, but it is not random to them.  They’re fully engaging in their stories.  Albeit this state of trance may be frustrating to people who are trying to make us focus, exactly in this state a person may be engaging in important thought processing, full flow of concentration, and may dislike being interrupted.  You won’t know what’s going on for the person unless you ask.  And when you ask, make it a visual question so as not to disturb his/her train of thought.

Are your imagined pictures still or moving?  Having control over and choice in this is very important.  If you can’t hold them still when it would be appropriate, you’re very likely ungrounded.

For how long can you hold an imagined picture still [=not moving]?  Some people can hold a picture for a fraction of a second, others for up to 5 seconds, others for longer.  If yours appears for a fraction of a second, you can train yourself to hold it for longer.  If you need to see a still picture and can’t stop it from moving / fading, ground yourself and imagine that you’re taking a photograph.  Compose it, frame it, freeze it, and take it into your photographic memory.  If you’re used to playing computer games or watching fast-paced action movies, you can train your brain to slow the pace down in mental replay.  Practise grounding in combination with familiar metaphors such as cars stopping at red traffic lights.  Need NLP help with this?  Contact me.

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