In chapter 2, Ambrose argues that experts within a particular subject matter are able to retain the knowledge they have within their field of study by mentally organizing information.
The illustration above is an example of the differences between a novice and an expert. Experts are able to organize their knowledge in systems, forming relationships to different parts within their knowledge to make connections, and ultimately retain that information.
Unlike experts, novices tend to retain information through remembering arbitrary, sparse information. By not making the connections and relationships between pieces of information, novices are less likely to learn, and more likely to simply memorize information.
The matrix above illustrates the differences between how a novice will structure their knowledge, and how an expert will structure their knowledge. Similar to the first example, the top left quadrant shows novices will remember facts and pieces of information in separate chunks, without considering the greater picture. The top right quadrant, although structured in a sequential order, is not ideal because this method still forces a learner to memorize the sequence, rather than understand the process.
The bottom quadrants are examples of how experts will organize their information based on hierarchy, as well as making connections across multiple pieces of information.
Ambrose later discusses how concept maps, like the ones seen in each example, are excellent methods of teaching learners. They are visual, and give learners a greater understanding of a subject matter at a higher level, as opposed to forcing the learner to memorize facts and pieces of information that they otherwise would not understand.