The theories of Tony Buzan, are they a practical

The theories of Tony Buzan, are they a practical assistance to instruction ( in peculiar alteration ) looking at mindmaps. Analyse the utility of mindmaps as an educational adjutant, every bit good as analyzing his thoughts through other educational theoretical accounts.

The thought that our societal and cultural establishments and patterns promote a left encephalon prejudice, and promote left-brain dominant activity to the hurt of at least some scholars, is non new. Mind-mapping is claimed by Tony Buzan to be a universally applicable technique that promotes right-brain procedures to help memory and acquisition. After sing Buzan’s theory of mind-mapping, his thoughts will be analysed in relation to other educational theoretical accounts.

Tony Buzan is an elective member of the International Council of Psychologists and a Fellow of the Institute of Training and Development. He is besides a fecund manufacturer of books, articles, web pages, audio stuff and so on, to market a instruction and larning method called ‘mind-mapping’ . Buzan bases his work on the thought that different encephalon hemisphere activities favour opposing ways of thought and behaving. Harmonizing to these larning theories, the left side of the encephalon is associated with one-dimensionality, words, lists, Numberss and analysis, etc. The right side of the encephalon is associated with more originative, artistic, ocular activities, beat, imaginativeness and spacial consciousness. ( Buzan 2007:17 ) The left side of the encephalon is supposed to rule the right side of the organic structure and frailty versa ; hence the association of left-handed people with musical, artistic and originative abilities. Buzan’s mind-mapping technique is supposed to utilize both sides of the encephalon.

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In the selling stuff of Tony Buzan ( president of ‘Buzan Online’ ) , it is claimed that mind-mapping techniques can assist pupils and instructors to make the followers:

… generate thoughts ; happen divine solutions ; present constructs and diagrams ; analyse findings or events ; construction coursework and alteration ; summarise information ; assistance interaction between pupils in group work or role-play ; better memory callback of facts, words and images ( Buzan 2008a )

A sum-up of the basic procedure of mind-mapping, based on theIllumineweb site ( Buzan 2008b ) which markets Buzan’s merchandises, is as follows.

Take a clean piece of paper ( A4 or larger ) and, utilizing the ‘landscape’ orientation, make an image in the Centre of the page. This image must stand for your subject in some manner. You are advised to utilize at least three colorss and to let the image to ‘create its ain shape’ ; make non utilize a frame. You so believe of your BOIs ( Basic Ordering Ideas ) that will be placed on lines coming out from the cardinal image. These chief subjects are ‘like the chapter headers of a book’ , so print these words in CAPITALS ( or pull an image ) . Place each image or word on a separate line of the same length coming out from the cardinal image. Thicker lines represent greater importance. Start to add a 2nd degree of idea. These words or images are linked to the chief subdivision that triggered them. The connecting lines are thinner ; words are still printed but may be lower instance. ‘Your initial words and images stimulate associations. Attach whatever word or image is triggered. Let the ‘random’ motion of your idea ; you do non hold to ‘finish’ one subdivision before traveling on: connected lines create relationships and a structure.’ The following phase is to add a 3rd or 4th degree of informations, as ideas come to you. Use images every bit much as you can, alternatively of, or in add-on to the words. ‘Allow your ideas to come freely, intending you ‘jump about’ the Mind Map® as the links and associations occur to you.’ Use boxes ‘to add deepness around the word or image to do some of import points stand out ; enclose subdivisions with lineations in colour’… The lineations will make alone forms ; they can demo connexion between subdivisions by utilizing the same coloring material lineation You are advised to ‘have merriment! ’ ; to utilize ‘humour, hyperbole or absurdness wherever you can’ . ( All citation taken from Buzan 2008b )

The bare castanetss of this copyrighted thought has been used for some clip as a method of learning and larning. It is peculiarly utile for planning, reexamining, consolidating and revising for tests, particularly in topics like history where a big sum of information has to be recalled accurately and in the right ‘order’ . For illustration, images of Henry VIII and his married womans demoing the day of the month order and mode of their deceases could be represented as portion of a head map on Tudor history. Where the head map differs from a clip line or household tree diagram is in the dimensions it allows. A head map could conceivably suit a little household tree as a boxed image. There could be other images associating to the Catholic and Protestant faiths at that clip and lines of assorted thickness could be drawn to associate the elements of spiritual instructions and sensitivenesss with the relevant facets of English Law ( at that clip ) with the destiny of Henry’s married womans, for illustration.

The head map surely has possible ; but hasn’t it ever? Isn’t it merely a canonized ‘spider-gram’ that has been used in learning and larning for decennaries? Buzan does travel to great lengths to warrant his mind-mapping techniques with mentions to how the head or the encephalon works ; but in the terminal it is still a canonized spider-gram. Phil Beadle ( 2006 ) remarks inThe Guardian

The head map is underused in schools because of its association with bad scientific discipline and with Buzan, the emperor of self-promotion. As ocular tools, head maps have superb applications for show work. They appear to be more cognitive than coloring in a posting. And I think it is beyond uncertainty that utilizing images helps remember… ( Beadle, 2006 )

He goes on to reason that head maps are limited by the accomplishments and abilities of the plotter ; pupils with a lingual prejudice would possibly happen them less utile than a pupil with a ocular prejudice, non least because of the length of clip it takes to make one. ‘But they are a utile piece in any teacher’s repertory, given the right circumstances.’ ( Beadle, 2006 ) I would reason that pupils with a lingual prejudice would necessitate a important sum of pattern before a suited head map could be achieved. Other pupils would come to it of course.

Katona ( 1940 ) compared different ways of acquisition and concluded that whichever technique is used it must hold as its endcognitionand for this it is necessary to ‘understand’ instead than merely ‘memorise’ information. This may look obvious, but rote-learning and other limited memorizing techniques have been used widely in the yesteryear ( hence Katona’s research ) . The difference betweenmemorizingandunderstandingis in the application phase In some sense, this relates to Bloom’s taxonomy in which memorising could merely have as a measure towards understanding since apprehension is the first phase of acquisition ( see by and large Anderson & A ; Krathwohl 2001 ) . Memorised information can merely be recalled in its original signifier or context ; cognition that isunderstoodcan be processed, analysed, synthesised and applied in different contexts for different intents. Potentially, mind-mapping surely allows more than merely memorizing informations and can hence be utile in larning and using or pull stringsing cognition.

However, is it a utile assistance tocritical thought? Can mind-mapping be used for disputing the norms of a subject, for illustration? Could it be a practical assistance in Freire’s ‘problem-posing’ instruction, or is it merely a signifier of ‘banking education’ ? ( Jarvis 2003: 70 ) There is nil in mind-mapping itself that stimulates disputing or problem-posing thought. It is most utile as a manner of organizing and retrieving the facts, norms and connexions as they are taught. So, is mind-mapping merely practical for ‘goal-oriented’ acquisition ( rhenium: Houle in Jarvis 2003: 91 ) where test must be passed for a making to be achieved, no affair how? Is a mind-mapping exercising more that merely a practical alteration assistance?

In Buzan’s debut toUse Your Head( 2006 ) he relays the experience of a mind-mapping pupil. This pupil was determined to travel to Cambridge University, but his classs reflected severely on him. He started utilizing mind-mapping as a alteration assistance and astonished all his instructors by accomplishing classs high plenty to acquire into Cambridge. There, he continued in his fittingness government and his mind-mapping techniques ( for note-taking in talks, summarizing books and articles, be aftering essays and revising for test ) and he gained his degree whilst ‘having a great time’ . This is an illustration of autonomous, but goal-oriented acquisition ( Knowles 1975, Houle 1961, both cited in Jarvis 2003: 70 and 91 severally ) within a formal educational scene, since the day-to-day or hebdomadal task-setting modus operandi was implemented by the pupil himself, utilizing methods he understood and felt comfy with and was non undertaken for its ain interest, but for the making at the terminal.

One point that must be emphasised is that, for the instance survey pupil, one mind-mapping exercising was non sufficient as a alteration assistance. The first function was undertaken during a talk, or in the library ; the 2nd function involved synthesizing these different beginnings of information, and a 3rd function involved selecting and organizing specific elements in order to be after an essay or take an test. Stages one and two may be carried out many times before the stuff is eventually said to be ‘understood’ . In that sense mind-mapping is more than merely a alteration assistance, it is a learning tool.

Like all tools, it is merely every bit good as the user: a head map can be a more or less canonized spider-gram, but it could besides be a work in advancement reflecting beds of information, thoughts, connexions, possibilities and absolutes. However, its format: a cardinal construct, the usage of colorss, lines, images, organised from the Centre of the page in an ‘organic’ flow to the fringes, is already a really common method for foregrounding, summarizing and revising cardinal words, thoughts, and connexions in assorted topics and at all degrees of instruction ( up to 16-19 or Further Education ) . These can be produced by persons or little groups and can function as a method of ‘peripheral learning’ if displayed on a schoolroom wall. ( See besidesLiverpool Daily Post2007 and Etty 2004 )

The claims that are made for mind-mapping are flawed because they generalise. They do non to the full take into historyacquisition manners– some pupils would happen themselves passing far excessively long procrastinating over which words to compose on each line ; some would non be able to visualize any ‘image’ or icon that could stand for what they know. Others would stop up with a map that is extremely inaccurate or lacks coherency. Mind-mapping may accommodate pupils who are already skilled in happening cardinal words for complex thoughts ; who can already interpret complex procedures into easy understood phases, but some students’ maps would be characterised by simplism of stuff. In talks and seminars it relies on pupils being able to grokandwrite, organise, kind or design at the same clip ( a extremely advanced accomplishment ) . It may non accommodate a lingual scholar, or a list-maker. It might non accommodate a pupil for whom spider-grams and images are helter-skelter. It surely would non accommodate a pupil who would happen it an alienating and possibly nerve-racking experience to ‘allow … ideas to come freely’ and ‘jump about the Mind Map® as the links and associations occur to you.’ ( Buzan 2008b )

If instruction and acquisition favors ‘chalk and talk’ methods of instruction ( or lectures, as in Higher Education ) , so mind-mapping is an appropriate technique for some pupils to get by efficaciously with the information they gather or receive. If the end of the acquisition experience is to leave curriculum-constrained cognition for pupils to reproduce in written scrutinies, so, once more, mind-mapping is an appropriate technique for alteration and for be aftering assignments. However, it does non accommodate all acquisition manners, nor does it advance disputing or critical thought. There is a topographic point for head maps, but it is alongside mnemonics, vocals and rimes, audio stuff, hot-seating, argument, crosswords, quizzes, and other methods of callback and alteration.

Anderson, L. W. , & A ; Krathwohl, D. R. , explosive detection systems. ( 2001 )A taxonomy for acquisition, instruction, and assessing: A alteration of Bloom ‘s taxonomy of educational aimsNew York: Longman.

Beadle, P ( 2006 ) ‘It is a shame that absolutely good instruction tools are invariably being justified with nonsense mentions to neuroscience’The GuardianTuesday April 18, 2006

Buzan, T. ( 2006 )Use Your HeadLondon: BBC Active

( 2007 )The Buzan Study Skills HandbookLondon: BBC Active

( 2008a ) hypertext transfer protocol: //www.imindmap.com/education

( 2008b ) hypertext transfer protocol: //www.mind-mapping.co.uk/make-mind-map.htm

Etty, J. ( 2004 ) ‘Repetition Is the Key in Revision: John Etty Provides Practical Advice on a Crucial Activity’History ReviewNo.50

Jarvis, P. , J. Holford, C. Griffin ( 2003 )The Theory & A ; Practice of Learning( 2neodymiumedition ) , London: Kogan Page

Katona, G. ( 1940 )Forming and Memorizing: Surveies in the Psychology of Learning and TeachingColombia: Columbia University Press

Liverpool Daily Post ( 2007 ) ‘New Technique Revolutionises Revision ; Group Bursaries’ Newspaper:Liverpool Daily PostMarch 8, 2007.

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