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Magazine Issue 48: Visualising Knowledge
June 2014

This month: Thoughts about Visualising Knowledge

Article: Visualising Knowledge
New Resources
Additional Resources
Transition Time: Previous Resources

This Month's Article:

Visualising Knowledge

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Visualising Knowledge An Article summarising different ways in which knowledge can be organised as images and why this can improve teaching and learning.

Create your own visual style... let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.
Orson Welles

I'm a visual thinker, not a language-based thinker. My brain is like Google Images.
Temple Grandin

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Learning Styles, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Visual Learning Infographic Learning Styles
It's a bit like...
The task is difficult, the problem seems insoluble; a real challenge. What do you do:
  1. Shut your eyes, frown?
  2. Go for a walk?
  3. Say, "It's a bit like....." or "It's the same as when...."?
  4. Use you hands, body, move around?
  5. Pick up a pen and draw/doodle
These responses are typical and expected when more effort's needed. And they are all linked to visual processing:
  1. Shutting your eyes; trying to imagine or recall a solution
  2. Walking away from the problem to get a different perspective, looking for inspiration
  3. Using simile and metaphor in the search for similarities to other challenges
  4. Externalising the problem/thinking in gesture and movement so you can see what it looks like 
  5. Externaising the problem/thinking as a diagram or image
Why Visual?
The Dual-Coding theory (Paivio, 1990) tells us that knowledge is stored linguistically and as images. This imagery includes mental pictures but also physical sensations. Hyerle (2008) states that 80-90% of information coming to our brain arrives visually. He concludes from this that although individuals may have non-visual learning preferences, it makes sense to develop the visual learning capacity of all students.

How?
Marzano's meta-analysis (2001) identifies 5 general strategies that aim to produce visual representations in the minds of students:
  1. Creating graphic representations
  2. Making physical models
  3. Generating mental pictures
  4. Drawing pictures or pictographs
  5. Engaging in kinesthetic activity
Notice how these ideas match well to the instinctive, problem solving behaviors above.

In practice there are hundreds of classroom activities that support these strategies - anything from concept mapping to diorama building to time-lining and infographics.

Principles & Practice
In class, curriculum knowledge can be simplified to concepts and their connections. Visual representations of this knowledge should make it more memorable and meaningful. So we need to think about how the concepts and connections are presented. 

If we first define what kind of information we have, we can then choose a suitable graphic method:

 Key feature of the information

 Example of visual representation

 Facts related to a theme  Concept Map
 A process  Flowchart
 Causes and effects  Pattern Organiser
 Sequence in time  Timeline
 Hierarchy  Tree Diagram
 Comparison  Venn Diagram
 Facts  Infographic

If the information has multiple key features, then new combined visual representations can be created. For example, a hierarchy changing over time could be shown by synthesising a timeline and a tree diagram.

This month's new resources provide ideas and templates for developing visual representations of knowledge in teaching and learning.

New Resources:

Visual+ Thinking

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Visual+ Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool to help pupils choose quick and appropriate ways to represent curriculum knowledge.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Visual Thinking, Learning Styles, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Visual Learning Infographic Learning Styles
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Visual+ Thinking Powerpoint

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Visual+ Thinking Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint, to bring Visual + Thinking to life in the classroom. Save time creating clear visual representations for pupils.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Visual Thinking, Learning Styles, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Visual Learning Infographic Learning Styles
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Media Think Sheet - Audience

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Media Think Sheet - Audience A Think Sheet coming at Audience theory in a creative, visual way.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Media, Secondary

Tags: Media Audience
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Previous relevant articles, resources & thinking tools related to Visual Thinking:

Visual Learning

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Visual Learning An Article looking at the theory and practice of using images, diagrams, photos etc. to improve enjoyment and achievement in learning.

We are visual creatures. Visual things stay put, whereas sounds fade.
Steven Pinker

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Learning Styles, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Visual Learning Learning Styles

Art Think Sheet - Moving Image

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Art Think Sheet - Moving Image A Think Sheet applying Thinking Classroom ideas to film and video.

Categories: Think Sheet, Art, Media, Secondary, Thinking Skills

Tags: Film
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Shot Thinking

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Shot Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool that uses the variety of film shots to prompt a variety of thinking styles. For example, thinking like a zoom or close-up thinking or panning.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Visual Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Media, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Film Media
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

V-V Thinking

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V-V Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool for developing visual thinking by making links between words and pictures.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Visual Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Infant, Junior

Tags: Visual Thinking
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


Previous media resources:

Media Think Pack

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Media Think Pack A Thinking Skills Tool Pack combining three related tools into one: A powerful way to think critically about data, evidence, opinion and lines of reasoning.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Thinking Frames, Thinking Skills, Other Subject, Secondary, Tertiary

Tags: Media Critical Thinking
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

Books:

Visual Tools for Transforming Information Into Knowledge
by David Hyerle

Visual Tools for Transforming Information Into Knowledge<br>by David Hyerle Well-researched and practical guide to embedding visual representations in to thinking and learning in any subject.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Research, Planning

Tags: Visual Learning Visual Thinking

Websites:

Thinking Foundation Habits of Mind

Thinking Foundation Habits of Mind An introduction to David Hyerle's powerful thinking around the visual representation of information.

www.thinkingfoundation.org/david/books/habits_of_mind.pdf

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Learning Styles, Research

Tags: Visual Learning Visual Thinking


Transition Time:

Not long now until pupils move to their new classes or schools. Here are a selection of transition-related articles & resources to help you out.

School Transition

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School Transition An Article which defines educational transition in the wider context of life-change then suggests a model for high quality school transition.

All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves.
Amelia Barr

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.
P. J. O'Rourke
 
What is transition? What is educational transition? Why is it important and how do we make it work? 

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Transition, Educators, PSHE

Tags: Change Transition

PSHE Think Sheet - Transition

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PSHE Think Sheet - Transition A Think Sheet of Thinking Classroom ideas applied to transition.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Transition, Junior, Secondary, PSHE

Tags: Transition
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Dream Bottles

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Dream Bottles A Story that poses an interesting magical challenge about success and failure after leaving home. Links to the questions that are set in the "Tips for successful transition" resource.

Categories: Story, Transition, Junior, Secondary, English, PSHE

Tags: Dream Wish Goals Success Failure Story
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


Next month we think about... Group Work