Part 6 - Nonlinguistic Representation

Research Based Strategies for the Classroom

Part #6 - Nonlinguistic Representation

All the senses come into play in learning. In most classrooms, however, reading and lectures dominate instruction, engaging students through the linguistic mode. Learners also acquire and retain knowledge nonlinguistically, through visual imagery, kinesthetic or whole-body modes, auditory experiences, and so forth. Teachers who wish to take advantage of all modes of learning will encourage students to make nonlinguistic representations of their thinking.

These can take many forms. When students make concept maps, idea webs, dramatizations, and other types of nonlinguistic representation, they are actively creating a model of their thinking. Computer simulations also encourage exploration and experimentation by allowing learners to manipulate their learning experience and visualize results. When students then explain their models, they are putting their thinking into words. This may lead to new questions and discussions, which will in turn promote deeper thinking and better understanding.

This issue of the Classroom Management Series provides research findings and implementation steps for the findings.

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