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Environmental Mnemonic School

Learning with prescribed learning atmosphere
  [vote for,

I believe that the the brain is capable of forming associations between rather disparate items; some times, when some abstraction associates a pair of concrete experiences, but other times, for no obvious reason at all.

To enhance memorization techniques by exploiting the weirdness of the brain, I therefore propose the construction of a university with a variety of differently-themed places of study. For example, there might be one room that has a medieval Chinese garden, another room that is filled with a bunch of lawn gnomes, another room where everything is painted blue, and so forth. There are dozens or even hundreds of these locations on campus, but all are quiet and not overly distracting, and all have internet access.

For each course, for each month, the student is given access to one such room. The idea is that he studies one month of some topic and associates the environs, unique to the room, with whatever he is studying.

The hope is that, a decade later, the student will be able to better remember some obscure fact or theorem that he otherwise might not have if he had just studied in the same library for four years, because of the added impression that the novelty of the study environment made in his brain. In addition, because there are so many differently-themed environments, there is (hopefully) a higher chance that a random interaction with something on the street will trigger a re-edification circuit in the brain. Thus, the benefit is two-fold: improved brain potency during learning, and increased memory retention.

Cuit_au_Four, May 14 2016


       You left out odors; pleasant odors are well-known to trigger associated memories. Also, the graduate will need a list of mnemonic triggers --the associations are not so useful if the triggers are not available.
Vernon, May 14 2016

       The problem with odours is that is mysteriously difficult to call them to mind later. If I walk into my old school, the smell of the place triggers all kinds of memories - but I can't achieve that simply by trying to remember the smell. Smell works very differently in the brain from vision.   

       As to the idea, I think it is absolutely brilliant. [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, May 15 2016

       Funny, I am discussing this very topic with someone on facebook right now and I am hereby coining the terms Sensophile, Visuophile, Audiophile, Papillaphile (taste buds),and Tactiphile to describe to describe children with extreme dominant sense fixations.   

       I myself am a visuophile. The only lessons from my public education days I am able to recall with accuracy are the lessons taught visually. Others with extreme sensory fixations will learn far more efficiently if education is directed towards their own particular bent.   

       The types of learning styles could easily be profiled in preschool children and would then be broken down as;   




       ...for the majority of kids.
Then there are the extreme sensophiles who are unable to form memories through input other than their own sensory fixation so three more categories are added for a total of nine basic learning styles.

       If sorted by learning style children will be able to absorb far more information than we give them credit for.   

       ...we just have to stop the forced rote memorization and conformity to authority that the modern education system seems geared to filter for.   


       Hmm. I found that being taught how to learn things by rote was the most empowering single part of my entire education. I wasn't taught it at school (the schools I went to were far too "progressive" for that), but I was taught it at home. It pretty much saved my life.   

       But maybe that's just me. Or possibly me and Archibald Wavell.   

       Does that mean that mini-me and mini-2fries would have to sit in separate classrooms? That would be a pity.
pertinax, May 18 2016

       Good point.
They didn't teach us any memorization skills and no one in my life had finished high school so there was no help on that front.

       hmm... perhaps if only the core subjects were taught by learning style groupings.
I did have to teach myself to learn in was other than visual and I imagine that, without being forced to, those skills would have atrophied, so maybe full sensophilic emersion schooling could be detrimental in the long run.

       Worth testing though... and we can still hang out at recess.   

       //They didn't teach us any memorization skills and no one in my life had finished high school so there was no help on that front. // Thing is, everyone needs to find their own way to learn - that is the difficult part about education. Some formulae may work for some people, but you really need to understand your own mind enough to figure it out.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2016


       It is not a child's job to puzzle out how they learn. This is the job of teachers with the help of science and a few thousand years of prior experience to have gotten it right by now.
...whether those kids have won the ovarian lottery or not.

       They say they want no child left behind, well then since individual students cannot have individual teachers, grouping them according to learning style is the only logical solution. Teaching according to primary sensory input will accomplish that goal.   

       I'd bet my left nut on it.   

       See you at recess then, [2 fries]. :)
pertinax, May 21 2016


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