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How Images Help A Child Build Pattern Recognition
Images Create Patterns
A pattern is described as a series of actions or events that together show how things normally happen or are done. (Macmillan Dictionary). For the purpose of our discussion on children and patterns, we will use the definition as follows: a physical connection or pathway between images, extracted overtime and recorded by the brain.
Jaden walks over to the table where puzzles have been laid out for the children to work on should they complete their assignments early. This is the first time she has seen the puzzle of the kitten with the red ball of yarn. She disassembles it after studying the picture closely. After ten minutes she is able to reassemble the puzzle. She enjoyed it so much that she decides to do it once again. This time she puts the puzzle back together again in less than three minutes.
How was Jaden able to assemble the puzzle much quicker the second time? As our eyes perceive the light reflecting off an object, it is sent to the brain where the light (image) is recorded. The image is then easily recognized and connects our thought processes with the action needed. An established pattern is retrieved for application. This is a simple explanation of how an image is recorded. The example below is a visual diagram of this process.
Images Extract Patterns From The Brain
Resource On The Brain and Learning
Images Lead To Pattern Detection
A young child has little notion as to what it means to love someone. They do enjoy the love of their parents and enjoy giving it back through hugs and kisses. The concept of love is much deeper and can only be taught through repetitive images that connect over time to form a pattern. The pattern formed is stored in long-term memory and will be there as a basis of comparison for future connections such as the meaning of "love".
For example, a child learns early that a doll is an object to handle with gentle care. She may be encouraged to hug the doll and to cuddle it while singing a song. Later her mom may read a book to her about a little boy who has a baby sister. The pictures in the book show him hugging his baby sister and playing with her. During the evening, daddy rocks her in a chair, hugging and kisses her while singing a lullaby. With each action, her brain is forming an image and it processes the meaning and stores it to memory.
As the child grows, new experiences are added to her understanding of love. She discovers Grandma and Grandpa also apply meaning to the word by their loving care. She watches other children being affectionately cared for by their parents. She may experience the loving attention of a pet and return the love through meaningful actions such as petting.
These actions are recorded as images in the brain and through time a connection is made between them. Her brain makes a physical connection, or pathway, between all the recorded images. As times passes, these connections form a pattern. In this case, the pattern is the concept of love.
Thinking Patterns Of The Brain
Logic Type: Left Brain
Gestalt: Right Side
Conscious, control center of the brain
Unconscious, automatic center of the brain
Processes from pieces of information to whole perspective
Processes from whole perspective to pieces of information
Logical and analytical
Intuitive and feelings oriented
Enjoys detailed thinking
Enjoys big picture thinking
Linear and sequential
Deals with whole images & meaning
Flexible and spontaneous
Goes witht he flow, hunches
Language center of brain
Rhyth and movement section of brain
Adapted from publication: Thinking Patterns of the Brain: Jan Yordy, M. Ed., M.W.W., R.P.T
Routine Patterns Of Learning
The Importance of Patterns In Learning
Structured Patterns Lead To Learning
Does the following paragraph make sense to you?
I blveiee taht I cluod raed wouthit a problem. No mttaer what wrod it si. The huamn mnid deos not raed ecah lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Even if the spelling of the word is incorrect, or the letters are out of order, your brain has formed a pattern for each word you have learned. It can immediately decipher a word based upon the learned pattern. Patterns signal our brain as to what is coming ahead and help us to focus.
Pattern recognition is useful when learning new concepts in school, at home, and in social environments. Prior experience leads to new learning comprehension as we begin to form a pattern.
For instance, in the following example, the children through classroom instruction begin to form a pattern for a bridge.
- The teacher discusses bridges during morning circle time.
- She then reads a book on bridges.
- Pictures of bridges are posted on the bulletin board and around the room for viewing.
- Children are encouraged to build a bridge in the block area later in the day.
- Before going home, the teacher will show a model of a bridge and lead children in singing "London Bridge", while playing the game.
By the end of the day, children have recorded several images of a bridge to memory and begin to see how they fit together. A pattern is established and stored. Keep in mind that the more complex an idea or topic, the longer the pattern will take to form.
As a child is exposed to images, repeatedly or through structured learning, he will connect the images to form a pattern for comprehension and application. Therefore, parents and teachers will find it helpful to teach a child a difficult concept (empathy, for example) through varied learning methods such books, photos, artwork, hands-on activities, chats, and actual representation.
Above all, it takes time for children to establish patterns in life situations and learnings. Pattern detection comes easily to our brains and is as natural as breathing. Children want to learn and their brain can process images rapidly, but the connection is established over time.