Neuroscience has proven it many years ago. The way we are trying to teach people is NOT working.
While the seminars, schools, universities and online courses of the world keep going with business as usual and millions of dollars are invested in education daily, it is rather surprising we are just ignoring the inefficiency of these systems.
We have been knowing how the human brain works for quite a while now, but the habit of traditional teaching seems to be a hard habit to break.
It is the kind of approach which is jokingly used in a German idiom called the Nuremburg Funnel (Nürnberger Trichters). It follows the concept that any student learning new content with this teaching method will almost make him learn without effort. And the teacher is capable of teaching everything to even the “stupidest” pupil. He simply “funnels something in“.
Sometimes I wonder if this has a connection to the sales funnel of nowadays.
1910 Nuremberg poster stamp depicting the Nuremberg funnel
(“If you miss wisdom in some fields, let them bring you
the Funnel from Nuremberg”)
But having the majority of learners feeling stressed, bored and overwhelmed and often fail seems not to make the teaching institutions question their approach.
It is easier to blame the missing success to the students, who are “not motivated enough or simply lazy”.
In sales and communication in general it has been a long known fact that the responsibility for the perception of the information is on the salesman. The same should apply to us teachers, lecturers and coaches.
We should take the responsibility for what is received and stored in the receiver’s brain (the general willingness and motivation of students assumed).
As a mindmap so perfectly displays the way out brain makes connections regarding any topic, it will be an interesting insight for any teacher to have his students draw a so called “Quickfire” mindmap of the perceived and stored knowledge.
Many teachers will be disappointed, even more shocked about the limited amount of delivered knowledge.
So from our point of view, the first step to successful teaching is understanding your student’s status quo and current skill level and understanding what is going on in his brain while learning.
This is what this blog is about.
“Nuremberg Funnel – ad stamp 1910” by Unknown – Website: http://gv-eningen.blogspot.com/2011/02/nurnberger-trichter-werbevignette-von.html. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nuremberg_Funnel_-_ad_stamp_1910.jpg#/media/File:Nuremberg_Funnel_-_ad_stamp_1910.jpg