Aatiqa Sheikh

MA Art Education - Thesis Projects

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Dissertation Abstract

The current dissertation analyses and highlights the significance of olfaction in encoding and decoding memory as well as its potential to enhance learning experience in a primary classroom. Olfaction has a great influence on memory. Rationale behind the connection might be the closeness of the olfactory bulb to the more sensitive parts of our brain such as limbic system, functioning emotional manoeuvres. Consciously or unconsciously, our brain keeps establishing links between the visuals and the odours associated to any objects we see. This is the reason that memories aroused by smell are more remote and vivid. The hypothesis under discussion confers on two premises. One being the correlation between odour and memory, whereas the other investigates its practice in enhancing a learning experience in a primary classroom. This study explores various aspects of the hypothesis using qualitative methods. A three-lesson module was planned and executed in a primary classroom. An experiment to encode and decode memory was also carried out. The findings led to conclusion that olfaction possesses the potential to enhance learning. There is no smell culture in the society i.e. encouragement of smelling things, which terminates the individuals’ ability to use olfaction gradually. Considerable further efforts are required to eliminate the societal prejudices against smell-such as discouragement of using smell as an observational tool-and to achieve maximum benefits of its potential in learning.

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