Source: Suggestopedia

For  a period of twenty-five years, a Bulgarian doctor and psychiatrist, Georgi Lozanov, studied the link between perception and learning. The result is a new approach to teaching based on new insights into how the human mind really functions. The fruit of Lozanov’s findings is a teaching system called Suggestopedia. It has similarities to the hypnotic process which attempts to send a message to our subconscious mind.

Suggestopedia holds that the starting point in all learning is the student’s deep-rooted attitude to the subject matter and to her/himself. By creating a pleasant, relaxing, and stimulating environment, where all information has a positive emotional content, the teacher can help students to create networks of pleasurable associations with the new material and thus to remember it longer. (E.g. learning the Present Simple tense through paying compliments to each other: “I love your beige shoes,” “You always dress beautifully,” etc.)

In recalling the enjoyable classroom situation – and people love hearkening back to situations where they felt good – the key phrases and expressions used or heard will, in all likelihood, spring to mind. Surprised by their newly discovered ability to remember spontaneously, students quickly develop more positive expectations of themselves and their learning capacities. Delighted by the ease with which they have mastered the subject matter, they will find their motivation and enthusiasm spiralling in accordance with the principle that “nothing succeeds like success.”

A second way in which a teacher can help learners tap the resources of their mental reserves is the careful programming of what they will perceive on a subconscious level or right brain (i.e, what they will see without realising they have seen it).

Since, at every moment, the human mind perceives much more than it is aware of, the amount of information we store subconsciously (right brain ) is astounding. For example, the colour of the hat worn by a woman you sat next to on a bus last year, or the words to a song you heard once when you were a child.

This sort of information of weak intensity is constantly slipping into our minds without our realising it, at speeds our cognitive processes could never keep up with. Our attitudes toward people, subjects, and things are largely determined by these subliminal perceptions that find their way directly to our sub conscious mind.

Subconscious programming by the teacher, however, is not restricted to the psychological conditioning (left brain ) of a student’s attitude. If a teacher hopes to enable students to outdo their usual learning performance in terms of speed, thoroughness, and retention, they will have to subconsciously program the course content itself.

The imperceptible, subsensory, subliminal level of communication is an equal partner in the learning process. It has its own specificity. In by-passing our conscious attention, data coming through this channel activates long term memory because it passes directly from the external world into our unconscious memory bank before percolating through to our consciousness where if will remain. These realisations, or intuitive flashes, come from within, often taking us by surprise. Many great scientific inventions are cases in point. Information perceived subliminally thus follows a trajectory unlike that of direct information. The latter passes through the filters of our left brain conscious and rational mind, soliciting our attention and short-term memory, remaining at our disposal for about three days before starting to fade away, thereby making room for more recent input that must be dealt with.

2 Responses

  1. Great work!

  2. I feel your work helped me in validating some of my day to day memory flashes…………

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