Accelerated Learning

Sharon Bowman’s „Six Trumps: The Brain Science That Makes Training Stick“ is a guide based on the neuroscience of learning. It distills complex concepts into six practical principles to enhance teaching and training effectiveness. These principles, referred to as the „Six Trumps,“ are designed to help educators and trainers create more engaging, memorable, and effective learning experiences. Below, we’ll explain each of these trumps and how they can be applied in educational settings.

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1. Movement Trumps Sitting

The human brain is better stimulated and more engaged when the body is active. Movement enhances blood flow and energy levels, improving learners‘ ability to focus and retain information. Instead of long periods of sitting, incorporating activities that require standing up, moving around the room, or even simple stretches can significantly boost learning. Examples include using physical activities to demonstrate concepts, having learners switch places based on their opinions or answers to questions, or employing role-playing exercises.

2. Talking Trumps Listening

Learners understand and remember information better when they actively discuss and articulate their thoughts. Talking allows learners to process information, form connections, and embed knowledge more deeply. Educational strategies like group discussions, teaching back (where learners explain the material to their peers), or collaborative problem-solving sessions leverage this principle by shifting learners from passive receivers to active participants.

3. Images Trump Words

The human brain processes visual information much faster than text. Images can make concepts more tangible and memorable, aiding in comprehension and retention. Educators should use diagrams, mind maps, charts, and other visual aids to complement verbal or written instructions. This doesn’t mean text is obsolete but that it should be effectively paired with visuals to maximize learning outcomes.

4. Writing Trumps Reading

Similar to talking, writing helps learners process and retain information. By writing down what they learn, students actively engage with the material, organize their thoughts, and enhance memory retention. Strategies like note-taking, journaling, or creating mind maps encourage this active engagement. Educators can prompt learners to summarize key points, write questions, or even create diagrams of what they have learned.

5. Shorter Trumps Longer

The brain’s attention span and ability to absorb information diminish over time. Therefore, shorter, more focused sessions are more effective than longer ones. This principle is often referred to as “chunking.” Breaking down information into bite-sized pieces and allowing for breaks or varied activities helps maintain attention and facilitates better learning. Implementing brief learning segments followed by activities or discussions can help consolidate learning and keep energy levels high.

6. Different Trumps Same

Variety stimulates the brain and helps maintain learners‘ interest and engagement. Using a range of teaching methods and materials caters to different learning styles and prevents boredom. This might include mixing up formats (videos, texts, interactive activities), introducing new topics regularly, or changing the physical layout of the learning environment. By diversifying how content is delivered, educators can appeal to a broader range of learners and enhance the overall learning experience.

Applying Sharon Bowman’s Six Trumps in educational and training settings can lead to more dynamic, effective, and memorable learning experiences. By considering the needs and workings of the brain, educators and trainers can improve their methodologies, thereby enhancing learner engagement and knowledge retention. The Six Trumps serve as practical guidelines that, when implemented, can transform traditional educational practices into more interactive, enjoyable, and fruitful learning journeys.

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