Learning is an integral part of life, consciously and unconsciously, even subconsciously we learn every day, but how much of it really sticks, now what we need to stick is usually introduced to us in the form of formal education, that is the information we need to specialize in a field and become professionals and be employable, this whole process is termed as the educational system.
In Nigeria the educational curriculum is anything but organized, and most of it was formulated without any thought to the psychology of learning and how the brain works, how the brain absorbs information, and processes it is a science on its own entirely, every sense is involved in learning in different degrees and capacities, in Nigeria, drawing our focus to the secondary and tertiary, most of the leaning is conducted in a listen and chunk fashion, this term simply means the lecturer or professor as the case may apply, blurts out strings of sentences, equations, formulae, principles, theories, without much thought to the student, now on the part of the student who mostly has little to no aid, simply listens to whatever information is being issued and chunks it in his or her conscious memory, now this is what most students call cramming, and as so students have a saying that goes, ‘’ book wey no gree enter head, go enter hall’’.
We all know what that means, and we all know this is true, as most people will agree, everybody crams, but why? because the lecturers stopped learning, and so the students stop learning too, the information being learnt doesn’t have to mean anything to the student, the student just has to remember the lesson long enough to pass an exam or test, and this is no fault of the student, in this age, which is rightly dubbed the information age, so much information is thrown at everybody with access to the internet, this large amounts of information cannot all be processed so the brain has developed a mechanism to sieve out any information which the student doesn’t express interest in, or which doesn’t apply to real life immediately, so to learn the student has to condition the brain to take in this information which the brain doesn’t qualify as relevant, real research has proven all of this.
Here is the hard proof, the human body and brain takes in 75% of all information through the eyes, this establishes an all sweeping statement, we are visual creatures, now going back to our brains primary configuration, we are wired to pick up remarkable information, like mountains and rivers and other remarkable features around us, when things are described to us or when we read novels, our brains create images to match everything we’ve read, so here’s another sweeping statement in all caps OUR BRAINS IS AN IMAGE PROCESSOR, NOT A WORD PROCESSOR, that’s why learning can be abstract, all from solid research, now stay with me and see the statistics.
You learn only 10% of what you read, only 20% of what you hear. Fortune 500 companies hire data science experts to analyze and visualize data, so the investors and board members can understand the abstract data on Wall street and the stock market, and this has proven effective, so what I’m saying is for science based courses, which are quite abstract, it’s not enough to read materials and bulky handouts, and long lectures devoid of any form of visualization because of this simple facts,
The brain is an image processor, not a word processor.
Sight is the only sense that can be focused 100%.
Hearing and all other sense are prone to distraction, you can hear things you don’t consent to hearing, and this things constitute distractions.
But proven research shows that the brain allocates more learning power to information that has been visualized, up to 50% more learning power, simply put, your brain is 50% more interested in visualized information now imagine, you learnt 50% for every test and exam. So for students in Nigeria what resources do we have to aid in learning, here are some resources below.
Cheatography.com: this is a site that provides already visualized, abridged and accurate information on whatever subject, topic or course.
And infographics. Just Google infographics for anything of interest to you, example.
Amino Acids infographics, Pathogenicity infographic.
Written By Roman Valentine