The Cult of Pedagogy site created by Jennifer Gonzalez has a great podcast and guest post from Jamie Chaves on multisensory learning that had me thinking about clinical teaching.

Did you know that there are an additional three more internal sensory systems in addition to the five external senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch? These systems are proprioceptive, vestibular, and interoceptive and have to do with how we perceive our body in space, our orientation in space, and our emotional awareness.

The key to multisensory learning is providing information in multiple modalities and involving multiple senses. This is natural in the clinical setting. When teaching students to use a stethoscope, there is a kinesthetic element involving proper placement and pressure of the stethoscope as well as an auditory element involving heart, lung, or bowel sounds. When introducing normal heart sounds it is also possible to include an image of a normal EKG strip. In addition to considering all of the external senses in clinical, consider the following internal senses:

  • Proprioceptive input is how we perceive our body in space; it is, essentially, our body awareness. It helps us facilitate grading of force, hold and manipulate objects, build self-regulation, and navigate the environment (without bumping into things).
  • Vestibular input is how we perceive our relationship to gravity and orientation in space. We use this information for balance, muscle tone, maintaining alertness and attention, motor coordination, sustaining an upright posture, and visual orientation.
  • Interoceptive input is how we perceive our internal needs. We use this sense for emotional awareness, bodily needs, and sense of safety.

Read more (or listen to the podcast) about multisensory learning on the Cult of Pedagogy website.

Categories Learner Support, Teaching Tips