Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Kinesthetics, Neurolinguistics & Pictures

To add pictures or not, that's been the question.

One part of me has wanted to let the words speak for themselves - in much the same way as a novel leaves it up to one's creative mind to conjure up the imagery; certainly only a rare handful of visual adaptations have ever been able to match the books that have been played out in my mind's eye. I've felt that maybe the inclusion of a picture might unnecessarily harden a reader's imaging of a post. But then, by not doing so, I'm tilting things towards people like me.

I should explain.

It comes from a sports coaching course I did some time back which featured a large Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) component. That was when I learned that I was not as visually-driven as most. One of the early exercises involved a crude categorisation of which senses an individual preferred to use, and went like this:
  1. Think of a loved one
  2. What is the very first impression you have of her/him?
    Is it the way (s)he looks, sounds, smells, or feels?
  3. What is the second impression you have of her/him?
    Is it the way (s)he looks, sounds, smells, or feels?
The first is your primary sense. The second is your preferred sense. I discovered my primary to be auditory and my preferred to be kinesthetic (touch/taste) i.e. I heard them first and then remembered how they felt to the touch. The visual image of them established itself later.

Neurolinguistics sheds an analytical gaze on the instruction of salsa and the assimilation of practices. For example, as the majority of people have the visual sense as their primary or preferred, phrases biased towards the sense of sight like "picture this" and "see what I mean?" effectively address most class attendees but overlook a specific minority. Likewise, people like myself benefit from unsighted lead-follow drills better than our visual counterparts, developing kinesthetic skills more quickly.

What I learned from the advanced coaching sessions caused me to re-evaluate and rewrite my "Teaching & Salsa" training manual, using sense-neutral terms in the main and sense-specific terms where they were best suited: the premise being that it should be as useful to the broadest range of educators. (I deployed a spread of sense terms during the opening of this post as a demonstration.) NLP has made me much more aware of the language of expression I, as an educator, should choose to use in class.

Back to the subject of pictures.

I wonder if my ambivalence to having graphical images on this salsa blog simply stems from my personal lack of requirement for it - my imagination is happy to rampage about freely; it would probably disregard a photograph as a tether. But having read Darren Rowse's blog and associated comments, I think I should. And I feel I will.

Loo Yeo

No comments:

Post a Comment