Learning to think. Learning to learn. These are the essential skills for student success. Research in both educational theory and cognitive psychology tells us that visual learning is among the very best methods for teaching students of all ages how to think, and how to learn.
What is visual learning?
Visual learning techniques - graphical ways of working with ideas and presenting information - teach students to clarify their thinking, and to process, organize and prioritize new information. Visual diagrams reveal patterns, interrelationships and interdependencies. They also stimulate creative thinking.
Visual learning techniques help students:
Clarify thinking. Students see how ideas are connected and realize how information can be grouped or organized. With visual learning, new concepts are more thoroughly and easily understood.
Students recreate, in their own words, what they've learned. This helps them absorb and internalize new information, giving them ownership of their ideas.
Integrate new knowledge.
Diagrams updated throughout a lesson prompt students to build upon prior knowledge and internalize new information. By reviewing diagrams created previously, students see how facts and ideas fit together.
Just as a concept map or web shows what students know, misdirected links or wrong connections reveal what they don't understand.