A top-down dissemination of information from an educationist to a class of students usually doesn’t work, unless the educationist is charismatic enough for students to tag memories of the information that is gathered earlier in class to his or her visual presentations. Frankly speaking, how many of us are able to retain the lessons from our history class? Can we remember the dates of significant events? Maybe. How about specific details of important happenings from the past? I think not.
What about literature? Do we remember details of the stories that we have read? Now, here is an interesting observation I have gathered from most of us. Compared to history lessons, we do remember a whole lot more about literary stories than historical events. Can we conclude that stories (that are at times fictitious) have the ability to better engage the human minds? From past and recent literature, the answer seems to be a resounding yes! That’s probably why folklores, legends and myths has been around for thousands of years and transmitted among us for generations.
But is that all? Probably not. If we are to further examine the various information that we retained from stories, it can be observed that each of us remember only specific scenes and scenarios. What’s interesting is that the scenes that each of us remember from the same story is different. Why is this so? It is because of our different life experiences, that is. This is also the reason why writers who often top the weekly bestselling list are often the ones who produce works that all if not most of us are able to relate to.
And when we bring this observation to the classroom, we can draw the conclusion that it is crucial for every educationist to relate their lessons to the demographics and more importantly psychographics of the students, especially in terms of their lifestyle and attitude. For example, the statement “We should always keep a positive attitude” means nothing to the students if they cannot relate to it. Some ways educationist can try to improve the situation is to discuss with the class of similar experiences (both from the educationist’s and the students’ perspectives) that are encountered in life. Having the students to pen journals as a form of homework is also a useful form of introspective exercise.
Therefore, I believe that dissemination of information may be useful in some situations but it is not productive when it comes to enhancing student’s learning. Educationists must be the conduit that bridges the gap between useful knowledge (not information) and student’s learning interests.