Mind maps are a learning strategy that is surrounded by controversy. While some students find it highly useful, others find it ineffective. Students who report a positive result with mind maps are often visual learners. However, it is a generally established fact that visual resources make anybody retain information faster and for longer. Although, it is important to remember that the effectiveness of visual content can vary from person to person since nobody’s mind works the same way.
Therefore, we are left with the question if mind maps really work. I guess we need to understand the science behind mind maps before we can answer it.
What are Mind Maps?
A mind map usually branches out from a central idea. It is a structured diagram of how the brain thinks about a particular concept. It allows to map out the brain’s thoughts as ideas different ideas appear related to that subject. It allows to connect all the ideas and you will have a visual result by the end of it. This is very well exemplified by top economics tutor, Mr Kelvin Hong who provides JC A Level economics tuition in Singapore using mind maps.
The Science of Mind Maps
A mind map mirrors the way a brain functions. According to research, the brain works based on association. It has the ability to concept each idea or memory. Eventually, it can connect 1000s of concepts. And a mind map is the visual representation of this process. So instead of accessing each individual thought in your head, you can have it as a map in front of you. The organization of thoughts is effective for analysis and recall.
Additional Benefits of Mind Maps
Here is how mind maps can be helpful for students beyond just memory and analysis:
- The concept of brainstorming embedded in mind mapping allows generating more ideas from a few ideas. This enhances the learning process
- For teachers, it can be helpful in conveying the understanding of a complicated concept
- Mind mapping does not have to be an individual activity. A group of students can share their ideas on a single mind map
- The organization of a mind map eliminates the complication a topic, which is necessary for problem-solving
Does it Work?
If we truly understand the science behind the mind maps and learn to apply it, then we can benefit from its effectiveness. It is a great tool for both teachers and students if used in its true essence. While some students are visual learners will take to mind mapping more easily, it is not impossible for others to learn to harness the potential of this tool.
However, it is important to remember that different students have their own pace and methods of studying and learning. Rushing or forcing students about methods they find complicated are counterproductive. In order to cater to the different needs of the students, teachers should use a collection of tools for teaching any subject and reinforcement of concepts in different ways could be helpful.