Mind Maps in Education - Where it all Started...

The story of Tony Buzan, as told in the Mind Map History article, going into the library asking for a manual on using the brain, is legendary. He was directed to the medical section!

We have come a long way since then. A lot of the Mind Map's progress can be related to the success of Mind Maps in Education. Even though Mind Maps in Education have so much proven success, it is still only applied half-heartedly in mainstream education worldwide. Old habits die hard! There are so many published case studies, and our own experiences, that have convinced us that Mind Maps in Education and Learning have no equal.
Let's explore some of the ways Mind Maps can be used in Education and Learning.

Mind Map study methods

Tony Buzan developed the Mind Map Organic Study Technique (MMOST), which uses Mind Maps as the core component. The method allows you to go from the big picture to the details in a structured, creative way. It consists of two main sections, preparation and application.
Preparation is divided into:
  • Browse
  • Time and Amount
  • Knowledge Mind Map
  • Questions and Goals
Application is divided into:
  • Overview
  • Preview
  • Inview
  • Review
By adopting Mind Maps in your learning process, you will begin to involve your whole brain in your learning. Whether you use the Mind Map Organic Study Technique, or just supplement your learning with Mind Maps, you will see a vast improvement in your approach to learning.

Mind Maps allow you to introduce colour, variety and fun into your studies. With this, success is sure to follow!

Mind Maps and Memory

You can create Mind Map  Memory Maps for the brain and trigger your perfect memory.

Association and hierarchy are two key components in memory. Mind Maps naturally apply both of these principles. All ideas are linked via defined paths in a Mind Map. The associations between ideas are therefore clearly defined. Maps also naturally go from the most important, central topic, to more and more detailed topics, using thinker lines in the beginning and thinner ones for the detail. This creates a natural hierarchy.

By having both these components in your Mind Map notes, you create a perfect memory map for your brain. All you need to introduce is colour and pictures and you have the perfect memory tool.

Mind Maps and Reading

Key Words form part of the main Mind Mapping principles. By using Key Words in your Mind Maps, you can reduce your notes by up to 90 percent, yet increase your memory by more than 100 percent. This enables you to not only save paper, but read through your notes in a fraction of the time it would take to go through normal linear notes on the same topic. It takes speed reading to a new level.

When people think of speed reading, they naturally think of people reading 3000, 5000 and even 10000 or more words per minute. While this is true, they are the real speed readers, you can can go through the same material in as little time, if you have the material mind mapped.

Using Mind Maps also gets you used to reading Key Words and Key Phrases, which speeds up your reading. By learning to use Key Words and Key phrases, you will take your ability to read and learn faster to levels you never dreamed were possible.

Mind Maps and Writing

Whether you are writing a novel, a technical manual or study notes for personal use, Mind Maps will take your writing to the next level. As Barry Buzan stated in a Mind Map history, Mind Maps allow you to separate the thinking and the writing process.

We classify writing into two classes: Note Taking, which takes down other peoples ideas, and Note Making, which you use to record your own ideas.

In both Note Taking and Note Making, Mind Maps allow you to combine both other peoples ideas and your own on the same Mind Map, in a way that complements each other.

How to Mind Map a Text Book gives you a good overview of Note Taking and Using Mind Maps in Education.

Mind Maps for Organising your Thoughts

While a Mind Map may look messy for some, it is actually a very structured way of note taking and note making. While it is very structured, it is also very creative. Structure and creativity are often looked at as to opposing and contradicting forces. With Mind Maps, these two powerful forces work together in a synergy that is hard to reproduce in any other way.

People with a structured approach are often labelled left-brained and the creative ones are often labelled right-brained. These terms were coined based on the parts of the brain that are associated with structured and creative thought, respectively. With Mind Mind Maps you combine both and become whole-brained.

You will learn via the various articles and resources on this site how to engage your whole brain in any activity that you do. By doing so, you will live a healthier, creative and stimulating life.

Mind Maps in the Classroom

More and more teachers are beginning to use Mind Maps in the classroom. We have our own extensive experience in using Mind Maps in the classroom.

A Mind Map is the ideal teaching aid, as it can naturally take the learner from the known to the unknown, which is a fundamental principle of learning.

The teacher starts with the main concept or principle in the middle and gradually drills into the details at a pace that can be followed by the class. The same Mind Map notes can then be used by faster and slower pupils, as the pace is dictated by the class, not the teacher. The learner is at the centre of the learning process all the time.

If used correctly, fast readers and slow readers can normally follow at the same pace. If images are used throughout the Mind Map, the method works even better.

Mind Maps and thinking

Edward de Bono, the guy that invented lateral thinking, states in his book, 'The six thinking hats', that complexity is the enemy of thinking as it leads to confusion.

Mind Maps allow you to clarify your thoughts by categorising them and grouping them into related ideas. This allows remarkable clarity when thinking. If you use Mind Map Software, you are able to do quick Mind Map brainstorms and then easily reorganise your thoughts in a structured way. This will naturally lead to clearer and better thinking without losing the creativity.

Mind Maps and Analysis

To analyse a complex problem, you have to look at it from different angles. A Mind Map allows you to put down the different angles on a single page, record your thinking in each of the angles, and then compare and analyse them in a structured way, without losing the 'thinking out of the box' benefits.

By focusing on one branch at a time, you can explore the idea fully without letting the others getting in the way. Yet, if you need access to the other ideas, they are right there. With Mind Mapping software you can easily hide the other ideas while you are focusing on one. The others are just a click away!

We hope this gives you a good general overview of using Mind Maps in Education. There are many articles on this site that explore each of these topics in more detail. We hope that this site continues to add value to your life and guides you to better ways of using Mind Maps.

Remember, you can add comments at any time to not only share your experiences, but get help in using Mind Maps better. Click here to learn about our unique Learning Management Program...

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