Posted on October 18, 2017 at 12:00 AM by Chuck Fox
When you were a student, you probably remember going to science class and holding an anatomically correct version of the heart. You and your classmates passed it around, each feeling the atria, ventricles, arteries, and veins as your teacher enlightened you as to how and why each part functions the way it does. You may not have realized it at the time, but because you were experiencing the model first hand, touching it and interacting with it, you became more engaged with what your teacher was saying.
Models are capable of helping us visualize and understand things we may not easily comprehend when they are presented to us in text or verbally. Especially when it comes to spatially complex ideas or abstract concepts (think ball-and-stick chemical models), researchers have consistently drawn the conclusion that most people learn more effectively when they engage kinesthetic learning which uses the sense of touch.