Learning by Association

In 2009, I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Marcus Conyers, professor at Nova Southeastern University, keynote at the Iowa Reading Conference. I not only heard him speak but also watched him move about as he “taught” us all a history lesson, painting a visual image of the characters and their actions. He also “taught” us 10 healthy foods with visual imagery and associated actions, all of which I remember to this day. You might ask why my recall of what he said and did remains so strong?

One of the first reasons is that he engaged more than one sense, engaging my visual imagery with word “pictures”. Another reason was the modeling of associative movements, along with the instruction to imitate them. Conyer’s statement that “the more modes used, the more the brain learns” is supported by John Medina, author of Brain Rules (see link in the blogroll on my Home page), who states that extra information given at the moment of learning makes learning better. Medina also stated that vision is probably the best single tool we have for learning anything. Since Conyers engaged my visual imagery so well, it certainly strengthened the encoding into memory.

© 2011  Dave Krupke  All Rights Reserved