According to Dr. Lynell Burmark, education consultant who writes and speaks about visual literacy: “…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information (plus or minus 2) ... Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.”
- The brain can see images that last for just 13 milliseconds.
- Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour.
- We can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second.
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
- Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
- 40 percent of nerve fibers are linked to the retina
Many studies have demonstrated the powerful effect that visual representations have on learning and memory.
Traditionally we have asked children to give answers in a very linear form, writing in sentences and paragraphs. Despite encouraging our students to ‘plan first’ before embarking on an answer we have seldom given them the tools to organise their thoughts.
What we have noticed is that, for our pupils Thinking Maps have been a marvellous thinking tool. Our children are empowered to produce their own thinking in a unique and valuable way. When they were asked to describe what Thinking Maps meant to them they said, ‘Thinking Maps are the books of my mind.’
Have a look at our thinking maps video and see for yourself. Maybe you will change the way you think!