Introducing Pyramid of Learning

One who studies occupational therapy would come across the Pyramid of Learning. It integrates the sensory profile of a person which would ultimately influence his / her academic learning. They pyramid was developed by occupational therapist Kathleen Taylor and special educator Maryann Trott in 1991. They combined the Sensory Integration theorist, Jean Ayres’ concepts and builds on the sensory profiling needed to support academic learning.

The pyramid is segmented into 5, namely, Central Nervous System, Sensory System, Sensory Motor Development, Perceptual Motor Development and Cognitive Intellect level.

At the base of the pyramid lies central nervous system. This is where our body receives and transmits information of our surrounding and bring it to the brain for processing and finally producing an output of our body.

The sensory system is where and how we receive these environment information: olfactory (smell), visual, auditory, gustatory (taste), tactile, vestibular and proprioception.

Next, the sensory motor development category where integration is required within the sensory system such as when we see that we are going to knock on a table which translates to our action of changing direction of where we are walking (to avoid knocking on a table). From body scheme, reflex maturation, ability to screen input, postural security, awareness of 2 sides of body and motor planning.

Further up in the pyramid, we have perceptual motor development where further refinement of our body sense and integration is required. These are auditory language skills, visual spatial perception, attention center functions, eye-hand coordination, occular motor control as well as postural adjustment. These skills determines how well our senses pays attention to details and sensitivity to retaining inputs and producing required outputs.

Finally, at the top of the pyramid, we have the cognitive intellect that allows us to carry out daily living activities, managing our behavior and enabling academic learning.

Importance of Pyramid of Learning

When a child struggles in an academic learning environment, we would need to investigate where a child needed the support. Sensory need is often overlooked as we pay more attention to the behavior of a child – not able to sit still or not interested in learning. In addition to the delivery of the learning content, which primarily relies on teachers, our child’s sensory need is a contributing factor that affects their learning.

Watch this simple presentation by Alia, our occupational therapist as she explains the Pyramid of Learning.

Contact us at +6018 2301 669 or email us to discuss more if you have concern with your child’s academic learning progress.

Read more on Supporting Students with Learning Challenges here.

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