Teachers at forefront of the Intelligence Age

Posted on August 25, 2008

“Mr Buzan needs no introduction and the fact that the [Senate] hall is full, is testimony to that. He is a prolific author, he has written 94 books, with sales in more than 150 countries,” said Prof Nthabiseng Ogude, Vice-Principal at the University of Pretoria.

Buzan is the creator of the internationally acknowledged study and memory system technique Mind Maps®, used by over 250 million people across the globe. This system is generally described as “The Swiss Army Knife of the Brain”. He has served as a consultant to several multinational companies such as Barclays International, IBM, Microsoft and Walt Disney.

In his interactive presentation, Buzan commanded the audience’s attention through group discussions, conversing over the paperclip test results and sharing intriguing facts and wonders that show the incredible capacity of the human brain. According to Buzan, the world has entered the Intelligence Age. Teachers lead this age, by teaching others to learn how to learn.

“The human brain has endless potential. It is the teachers’ duty to prepare students so that they become intelligence workers. If that was the only thing that teachers did, their job would still be the most important job in the world,” said Buzan. He identified five essentials that the human brain requires, namely: life long learning, sensory stimulation, oxygen, friendship (along with affection and love) and a healthy diet.

Karen Naude, one of the organizers of the event and a lecturer in Language and Study Skills in the BSc Four-Year Programme described Buzan’s presentation as insightful. “Both students and lecturers benefited from listening to this excellent speaker, it was an honour to have him on our campus” says Naude, who has been teaching Buzan's principles to high school and university students for 20 years.

Johan Freysen, the acting director of Education Innovation, said that the calls of interest received from both within and outside of the university, confirmed the relevance of the talk and acknowledged Tony as a 'guru' in the use of mindmaps for learning. He added that the fact that we could video the presentation would enable us to share the thought-provoking ideas with those colleagues who couldn't attend the talk. According to Freysen, if he were to single out one thought from the presentation, it would be the crucial role that teachers and lecturers have to play in preparing the students to surf the new "wave" (Toffler) of intelligence by using mindmaps.

In celebration of the University of Pretoria centenary, Tony was presented with a set of centenary post-cards which had messages of thanks written by current BSc Four Year Programme students and past Foundation Year students. Former UPFY (University of Pretoria’s Foundation Year Programme) student, Tshekedi Monyemore took the day off to personally thank Buzan. “Mind maps have opened up my mind and I am truly grateful,” said Monyemore, now a Communication Practitioner.

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