Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Drawing to Learn

Education has for too long failed to recognize the importance of visualization in the way people learn. School districts and universities don't list visual thinking as a basic skill alongside reading, writing and math but it is clear that, even in science, visual thinking is important for learning, understanding and communicating complex ideas.

Russell Tytler (right) from Deakin University in Australia is one of the researchers who published "Drawing to Learn" in the August 2011 issue of Science magazine. His research shows that drawing in science class helps students grasp science concepts, be more motivated to learn, and helps them communicate what they have learned.

Professor Tytler says their study shows that visualization is integral to science learning and that drawing can help engage students in science lessons, allow them to generate their own representations of common scientific diagrams, assist in the communication of science concepts to others, show understanding of concepts, and help them learn material.

The Drawing to Learn research is part of a three-year study funded through the Australian Research Council on the role of Representation in Learning Science (RiLS).

Click on the heading above to see a 4 minute video of Professor Tytler explaining the study and its results.

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