PSE is the phenomenon where the human brain processes pictures better than texts. This is why people are more likely to recall information presented as pictures first over material presented in words first.
According to researchers Denis Pelli, Deborah Moore, and Bart Farell, humans learn to make sense of visuals such as diagrams and charts over time. However, the brain, even after years of learning, cannot interpret a word as a single piece of information. It must individually understand each letter of a word to make out its meaning.
This phenomenon is invaluable to teachers. To help students learn difficult concepts better, teachers should inculcate visuals such as flow charts, graphs, mind maps, and diagrams into learning. When teaching, they can lead into a topic with a visual, letting students see and make sense of it first before proceeding to give the verbal details of the topic. Teachers should not include too much written material on a visual. Rather, they can include just enough words to help students get the big picture and then as the lesson goes on, let the students flesh out the missing details.
For more information about Willy Wood, including the workshops he offers for teacher professional development, go to willywoodteaching.com.