If you haven’t read the story of Edward Hughes, you really should.” Tony Buzan begins his book, “Learning on Both Sides of the Brain,” with what I call a “Miracle Story,” the story of Edward Hughes, a young man who was a mediocre student but used Buzan’s methods to become a great success. This was one of the early books on learning strategies. This book and the story if Edward Hughes were probably the greatest influence on my fascination with finding and use effective learning strategies.
After many years, I began to wonder if Edward Hughes was a real person or simply a story to illustrate the power of Mind Maps. I Googled the name and found many people named Edward Hughes. I then Googled “Edward Hughes Mind Maps” and found a number of sites re-telling the story but no evidence of the real Edward Hughes.
I concluded that it made no difference if the story was about a real person or was fiction created to show what was possible for students who used certain strategies. Either way, It brought hope and determination to many students who read or heard the story. Whether Edward Hughes was real or fictional, the story made it clear that by using strategies including Mind-Maps, Self-testing, and Scheduled Reviews, students could learn far more effectively and make amazing grades.
I don’t always agree with Buzan. I prefer Concept Maps that are totally logical and structural. He uses Mind Maps as a more right-brained, creative way to brainstorm. He presents a very rigid set of rules for his Mind Maps. I don’t like rigid rules and cheerfully ignore most of them. I believe people should use the patterns that work best for them.
But, in spite of our differences, I am grateful to Buzan’s work for introducing me to the idea of using visual strategies for learning and for so much more. I hope you will find some of these strategies that work for you.
Thanks to a comment from a website visitor, I was informed that Edward Hughes was a real person. I emailed Mr. Hughes and got a response. What a delight to know that Edward Hughes is real. The story is true.
But I still hold to my original thesis. What is important here isn’t the history of one student. It’s not about him, it’s about YOU.
If a young man named Edward Hughes could use these strategies with amazing results, you can do it too. What is important is the possibility that every student can improve their learning strategies and their grades. It is the fact that visual strategies such as Mind Maps, Concept Maps or others, along with self-testing instead of re-reading, and using scheduled reviews can transform your learning experience and your grades.
I strongly recommend Tony Buzan’s book “Learning on Both Sides of the Brain.” You might also want to read the following pages: