The brain has a network of fibre pathways that contains around 100 billion neurons. When we learn anything new, new fibres, called dendrites, grow from the existing neurons. As individual dendrites grow, connections are created between them. These are called synapses. These synapses and stronger and thicker as you learning of something improves. The more the number of senses involved in learning, the thicker and stronger synapses.
Just think about it. We tend to recall smell, tastes and sounds. We also effortlessly recall pleasant, unpleasant, happy, unhappy and comical experiences. But these ease of recall does not apply to neutral experiences, which are no ‘hooks’ to easily attach to. Most of our lessons are just words in text books, spoken by teachers, heard and written by us. But our memory holds information in the form of pictures sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations and experiences, which is the reason why remembering only words is challenging. So we need to form word-pictures or hooks so that the lessons ‘stick’ and are easy to recall.
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The Value of teaching others
Edgar dale created a theory that was called the cone of experiences. This theory is based upon 1967 article by a mobil oil employee, D.G.Treichler . it was further refined by the Colorado department of education in 1999. In this frame work it is explained that we learn:
5% of what we hear in lectures
10% of what we read
20% of audio visual material presented
30% of what is demonstrated
50% of what we discuss
75% of what we practice by doing
90% of what we teach others
Now, please do not consider the absolute truth. It is not. But it does drive home the point that our ability to learn is vastly improved as we involve more of our senses. And one of the best ways to learn something is to actually teach it someone else!
This could involve you teaching your classmate or you could simply explain your learning ou aloud to a family member. The mere act of explain or teaching has an incredible effect.