Analogies - A great learning tool

Education is like clothes, no one size fits all.

The above quote relates the abstract concept of education with clothes, which are physical. This relation makes the idea of customized education more accessible to the reader.

Analogies can do that. That's why they are a great learning tool.

Teachers and students have to deal with a lot of abstract concepts. If you relate those concepts with things you already understand, understanding the new becomes a little easier. 

Scientists have proven that we learn by using connections of old concepts in our brain for learning new concepts. If we use more number of connections to form bridges of a new concept, we understand and remember it better.

The good news is that you already use analogies to explain things so there is nothing new to learn. The challenge is to use them more often with better examples.

So if you are a teacher explaining a new concept to a student which that student can't get their head around, instead of explaining it over and over, try an analogy. In fact, try it the first time. Analogies not only help to trigger learning bridges, it also gives the learner a chance to remember something familiar which gives a better sense of understanding. 

What do you think about using analogies?

Do you have an analogy that you use with your students? Please mention in comments.

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