To know is to feel, to feel is to know
Every individual is unique as every child is special. Everyone may be similar in various ways but will also be different in many ways making each one exceptional. What makes people more significantly distinct from each other is the set of skills they wield throughout their lives and how they pass it on. A child acquires learning audibly from zero to eight until language forms well and escalate to communication. As this was empirically proven applicable to a lot of people, there are also some that started to acquire knowledge when their eye sight was formed and tend to learn things as they see it. Sense of hearing as well as seeing plays a big role in a child’s early learning acquisition.
It was mentioned in the previous article how learning flows when the senses are at work. When a child sees, hears, and feel the object for learning around, erudition is present. This type of learning is called Sensory Learning. According to the article of Arbuthnott and Kratzig (2015) entitled Sensory Learning VS. General Memory Process, “Tailoring teaching strategies to accommodate students' sensory learning styles (e.g., visual, auditory, kinesthetic) is widely recommended across all levels of education from kindergarten to university.” Though many still argue about the effectivity of approach, there are great evidences in the effectivity of sensory learning as it does not contradict other styles of learning but rather a great support for it.
Sensory learning is an innovative approach that unites three aspects of learning which are visual, auditory and vestibular combined as one intervention, providing teachers the avenue to integrate sensory messages in passing learning to students. In STEPS Special School, sensory learning is greatly integrated with the learning curriculum. The “SENSORIAL ROOM” is the biggest room in the school allotted for the students’ sensory learning. The room is carefully designed to ensure the effectivity of approach. Placed there are different sensory materials that allows student to learn and have fun at the same time.
Visual – Sense of Sight
The sensory room has sensory boards that display aesthetical visuals that also provide different sensations like softness, smoothness, and rough senses. They also integrate colors and shapes to better help the students.
Auditory – Sense of Hearing
On the other side of the sensory room are the instruments. Different musical instruments are provided for the teachers and students to enjoy learning sounds. Cabinets that provide different sounds like opening of doors, galloping of horse, sound of hammer, and different man-made sounds are installed. Since the school is a green-school itself, natural sounds like birds chirping, wind blowing, and leaves dancing are accessible for kids’ auditory learning when outside making the whole school grounds a sensory area.
Vestibular – Balance: Sense of Smell; Sense of Touch
Placed in different areas in the room are materials for vestibular learning or the sense of balance. Honing the sense of balance include strengthening of senses like the sense of smell and the sense of touch. In one side of the room placed two pieces of a three-level shelf. In these shelves were materials for fine motor and sense of smell. Different scents are being exposed to the students for them to identify the name of a fruit or an object of different fragrance. The room contains colored vestibular balls that teachers use in moving activities. It also has a floor bridge with different shapes. These bridge pieces are easy to rearrange to adjust the level of learning. It is designed with different shapes and vibrant colors. Instead of plain planks, some of the bridge pieces are not entirely flat, some are dome-shaped and some has foams. Their shape is varied as well. This is to ensure that students will be ready to develop their psychomotor skills and fulfil bodily kinesthetic activities.
This room serves as a haven for the students. Learning is guaranteed in this school as STEPS believe that to know is to feel, and to feel is to know.
For more information about STEPS please contact STEPS International Special School
Address: Street 12 - No 10, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (028) 22 534 728 - 039 546 3532