Seeing the Ideas

Last weekend I attended an Apricot, Inc. workshop entitled Cognitive Strategies through Language “Thinking through Doing. The presenters shared some background info and theory on how we learn and then demonstrated how to draw in real time to develop content vocabulary dictionaries, cartoon content, and flow chart the language of formal concepts.

In their book A Guide to Visual Strategies for Young Adults, the authors Dr. Ellyn Arwood and Mabel Brown state, “Learning occurs at three levels: sensory input, perceptual pattern development, and conceptualization. Language represents the concepts. Concepts grow through using concepts in layers and by overlapping past and present knowledge. Language [adds meaning to concepts and] allows concepts to be stored in memory for retrieval” (p.5).

The presentation was based on Dr. Arwood’s research in language function, language learning systems, and visual literacy. I left with a lot to think about and some new strategies to use as I teach.

You can find more information about Dr. Arwood’s research and workshops by visiting her website or reading her books:


comments and ideas welcome!

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