Why and How Visualization Can Help Us Learn New Things


What is more, it helps us build logical connections between new fresh information and all that knowledge we store in our heads. These connections activate our memory and make it easier for us to understand and remember what we learn, as well as to use our knowledge in practice when it is needed.

When I am busy with several different projects at a time and just have neither time nor wish to do some writing assignment, I go find experts who can write my paper for cheap. So, I am sure that I can complete all my tasks on time!

However, visualization turns out to be a much more complicated thing than it may seem to be. So, here we are going to find out what on earth it implies, when and why it may be ineffective and how to make the most of it in the study process.

How You Should Define Visualization

Simply put, when you visualize something, it means that you form a picture of it in your mind. To some extent visualization can even be compared with what we call dreaming.

On the other hand, however, visualization is more pragmatic than dreaming. While in your dream-picture there can be beautiful castles on white clouds or high-tech spaceships, visualization would always make you come in out of the rain and concentrate on certain problems, look for solutions or generate ideas.

That is why nowadays it has become one of the most popular strategies which educators are advised and encouraged to add to their teaching methods.In their turn, these methods are aimed at making you put all those abstract pictures inside your head on paper, literally.

So, in education visualization means

  • that you can model a problem which requires a solution (it can be a drawing, graph, table, whatever) and use your knowledge to find this solution;
  • or that you can summarize your professor’s lecture with the help of pictures or symbols which you can easily remember and interpret;
  • or that you can present your innovative idea with a model of your invention and a well-thought presentation.

Why You Need to See What You Learn

Still, here we are going to focus on why and how visualization can help a student learn, understand and remember large amounts of new information. So, you can take a quick look at the first and second points of the list above once again, as we are going to discuss them in more detail.

Let us check out the main benefits you get from visualizing things you need to learn.

  • When you can form a clear picture of every stage of some process (chemical, physical, biological, etc.), it means that you can analyze the conditions, explain the reactions and even predict the outcomes.
  • When you can imagine and think about little details of a particular phenomenon, object, event, whatever, you can associate it with what you already know and insert it as a piece of puzzle into the general picture of your knowledge.
  • When you visualize a new challenge or problem, you can see what you already have and what you still need to have in order to solve it. Using your knowledge, logic and creativity you can come up with the best resolution.

Below there are two examples to give you a better idea of how visualization works in the academic reality. We decided to take two very different spheres of study in order to prove that it is a versatile strategy for enriching your knowledge and improving your memory.

Visualization for Mathematics

Different surveys report that doing math problems activates different areas of human brain. In order to come up with the right answer, students must analyze and use information that they get from several different mediums at a time. These mediums are symbols, numbers, figures.

By visualizing the data which you receive from these mediums you help your brain analyze the problem more clearly and faster. Therefore, it will be easier for it to generate the right solution.

Your choice of visualization tools is unlimited: they vary from matches and cards to 3D computer graphics. So, select what you like the most and just set it right.

Visualization in Language Learning

Do you want to speak Chinese just like the Chinese people do it? Imagine yourself a native, listen to natives and keep practicing your speaking skills wherever you go. Success is guaranteed!

Even if you do not look like a Chinese person, you can make your brain believe that you are one, so you can speak like one. Your brain will send particular signals to the facial muscles which help humans articulate different sounds, thus making it easier for you to pronounce the sounds of Chinese language.

This is only one example of how you can use visualization to learn a new language. If you have ever drawn pictures to memorize new words or invented stories about them, these also were the right steps to visualize the learning process. So, do not give it up!

Why Visualization May Not Work and How to Visualize Correctly

Although it is a good remedy for many cases, it is not universal. Let us see what can go wrong and what you should do to save the situation.

  • The goal you have set might be not very clear. So, you just do not understand why you need to learn what you try to visualize. In this case, you should review the reasons for your efforts and change them if it appears to be necessary.
  • You might orient only to the outcome and simply forget about the process. So, try to imagine not just what you have, but how you get it, step by step. This will help you develop a clear plan and stick to it.
  • You may be distracted by something negative (stress, fear, aggression, etc.). Try to reduce these factors with the help of meditation and get back to visualization with clear mind.
Marcus Haney

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