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Cognitive perceptual skills are those performances that we conduct which, through a series of activities, help us understand everything which surrounds us. These are skills that help us learn to differentiate one thing from another, as well as one event from another. The ability for cognitive perception is our main builder of schema. For this reason, teachers use a diversified methodology as the most effective way to develop skills in that specific type of thinking activity.
In children, perceptual skills are always put into use because children are natural explorers and inductively curious. It is precisely in the actions of touching, tasting, smelling, and comparing everything that they begin to experience what are similarities and differences in objects (Piaget, 1952)
Similarly, adults would have to do activities in which they use all five senses, as well as multiple intelligences, to get a better perception of the things that surround them, of their own lives, and of their roles as individuals. Some of the proposed activities to build perceptual skills in adults strongly suggest a detour from activities that are part of their comfort zone and, instead, to invest time in never-before-seen activities that involve their bodies as well as their minds. These perceptual activities include, along with the areas that would benefit the adult:
- dancing, or learning how to dance (rhythm, memory, balance, schema)
- sports or excercise (balance, memory, schema, critical thinking, following rules, engaging physically)
- fine motor hobbies such as pottery, painting, or tracing (focus, concentration, flexibility in fine motor skills, schema, creative thinking, memory)
- music (rhythm, schema, critical thinking, creative thinking, differentiated thinking, memory)
- new languages (decoding skills, problem solving, cultural awareness, trends and patterns of speech, schema, memory)
- computer and video games (problem solving, decoding, trends/patterns skills, memory)
Therefore the suggestion is that we never leave the "learning mode" that automatically occurs when we are children. All of us should be lifelong learners and should always continue to add dimension through our life through perceptual activities.
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