I am indebted to Daniel Sobel for recounting this most valuable piece of research from Edgar Dale which has been in circulation since the late 1960s and yet which does not yet inform every teacher’s choice of method and technique when in front of students.
Together with the dynamic model of learning recording, retention and recall put forward a century ago by Ebbinghaus, they should form a copper bottom to any teaching activity.
I was desperately trying to recount the actual figures in each category and had forgotten that they are so striking!
Please bear this in mind in your lesson planning and the amount of time you allocate to student led exploration and exposition to peers.
This is one of those infographics which truly should be displayed in each classroom.
There is some debate about the accuracy of this model, which is shared by my executive editor, and refutation appears on the internet at:
However, I know from my work in the classroom and in trying to create independent and autonomous learners that an appeal to more active elements of learning engagement is more effective in promoting learning than an assumption that all learners will obtain equal value in terms of the acquisition, retention and recall of information simply through a more passive engagement through reading exclusively.
Whether these percentages correspond precisely to the actuality is another matter.
I think it is significant that functional competence to fly an aircraft involves a hierarchy of learning which commences with book-based learning and graduates to the flight simulator and flying experience!