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Mind Maps – Think Big

mind mapsOne of the most prominent challenges facing our education system is our inability to adapt to modern teaching methods, and embracing technology as we move further towards digitalization. With increasing access to information traditional teaching models are coming under increasing pressure to adapt or fail.

Unfortunately there is not one single teaching method for all, but with the increasing availability of information - other challenges are presented. My objective when teaching is to engage students to think, analyze and critique ideas and concepts. Anyone can search the internet and construct an argument, but how to develop that arguments and rationalize it to make a concise point, is another matter and skill altogether.

I tend to encourage the use of a mind maps in order to develop the cognitive processing of students. Mind maps are a great way to develop blue sky thinking, which is so highly sought after within modern business. Mind maps not only increase ones understanding of various topics, but they allow people to explore several aspects, and develop logical intelligible insights.

Mind mapping is ideal for creating semantic relationships through the use of brainstorming; it creates structure to processes without dampening the creative flow. It allows both visual and traditional “linear” thinkers to create stronger associations with information, and present it within a logical manner. The premise is that the mind map utilize both hemispheres of the brain to develop a more productive and well developed idea, and ultimately develop a logical conclusion.

It is a useful tool to encourage people to learn. The fact that it allows one to develop ideas, concepts and explore new possibilities can produce quite radical and interesting results. Thinking out of the box using a mind map is fantastic method for classifying ideas, solving problems, making decisions and summarizing information (Beautemont 2010).

Mind mapping acts as a tool to help to reduce time and energy required to process information. They can reduce exhaustion and decrease the amount of memory required to produce relevant and coherent ideas. Consequently, it helps to develop students cognitive abilities further than the typical linear thinking models. Following is an example of energy conservation mind map.

Mind Mapping Stage 1

Try to allow your mind to wonder around a particular topic, it really does not matter if your chain takes you to irrelevant relationships or not, the important aspect is that you are thinking out side of the box. It’s a discovery process that will create the foundation of a piece of work. Take Dubner and Levitt for example; two economists who view the world of economics from a rather different standpoint. A couple of chapter exerts are “What do School Teachers and Sumo Wrestlers have in Common?” or “Why do Drug Dealers Still Live with their Mom?” (Dubner and Levitt, 2003)… Their out of the box thinking presents a rather intriguing read.

Mind Mapping Stage 2

The second stage within the mind mapping process is convergent thinking, so this is where we rationalize our thoughts and ideas into coherent arguments patterns to present within a logical manner. It defines the core focus and direction of where we want to go with an idea. The convergent thinking really helps to stylize the big picture within context of your work. All of those idea and thoughts that you developed during the first, well it’s time to get them down on paper and develop attachments to them and develop the relationships to your topic or theme.

This topic is very large and complex, but I hope that I have brought you some insight into the of world mind maps to develop your skills.

Health Mind Map Example

__Author Bio__
James King the author of this article has been working independently with colleges in Santa Barbara of the past three years and is passionate about personal development.

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