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Mind maps: advantages and frequent uses

In addition to enhancing brain capacity, including memory, the mind map facilitates a variety of school tasks. This versatile tool can thus play a significant role in student success.

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In addition to enhancing brain capacity, including memory, the mind map facilitates a variety of school tasks. This versatile tool can thus play a significant role in student success.

Better memorize and use the brain at full capacity

In general, humans do not use the full potential of their brain. Often, only one hemisphere is used at a time. However, the left hemisphere and the right complement each other, as illustrated This article including a most evocative synthetic image. If the first responds better to concepts and reason, the second appears more intuitive and artistic. This is where the mental map differs from other learning methods. Indeed, by its presentation at the same time visual (colors, images, diagrams), logical (links, organization of concepts) and linguistic (key words), the mental map solicits the whole brain.

En fait, on peut comparer la carte mentale à la pratique de la natation plutôt qu’à celle de la marche : tous les muscles se mettent en branle, plutôt que ceux des jambes en priorité. Mis en forme par une stimulation plus complète, le cerveau répond par une compréhension accrue des concepts, mais aussi une mémorisation efficace du contenu, que ce soit en guise de rapidité ou d’étendue des connaissances retenues. D’ailleurs, les simples faits de situer les concepts dans l’espace (ici, sur une feuille ou un écran orienté paysage) et d’effectuer des associations constituent des astuces de mémorisation à la portée de tous.

En somme, la carte mentale, c’est de la métacognition à son meilleur! L’élève apprend à apprendre : il construit et structure ses connaissances à sa manière, avec ses propres schèmes de pensées et ses mots-clés, et ce, dans une foule d’occasions scolaires.



La carte mentale, un outil idéal pour explorer, planifier, résumer et réviser

Utile à toutes les sauces, la carte mentale mérite qu’on s’y attarde. Souvent, le premier contact se fait en grand groupe, afin que tous puissent visualiser l’évolution de la carte sur un tableau standard ou sur un TNI / TBI.  Graduellement, les élèves l’utiliseront à des fins personnelles pour explorer, planifier, résumer et réviser.

To introduce this type of tool in the classroom, we can start with aexploration. More accessible since all the answers are possible, this type of exercise allows young people to appropriate the mental map without experiencing unnecessary stress related to the content. Thus, we can organize a storm of ideas on a subject that will be the subject of research work, explore the possible themes of a school party or exhibition, activate the previous knowledge of your class on a notion. that we are about to tackle, etc. Here, self-expression and creativity are at the rendezvous!

We then take advantage of the strengths of the mental map to work on the planning. Outre l’organisation d’un projet (fête, événement, projet de recherche ou autre travail d’envergure), la carte facilite aussi la résolution de problème. Par ailleurs, c’est l’outil par excellence pour construire un plan de texte dynamique, que ce soit pour un article informatif, un récit ou un texte d’argumentation. Les élèves peuvent également planifier les tâches de la semaine à l’aide d’une carte. Devoirs, leçons, étude, travaux à remettre : tout cela pourra apparaître sur une même feuille et fournir une vue d’ensemble des plus pertinentes pour bien gérer le temps et les tâches et ne rien oublier.

The mind map is also a great tool for to summarize and revise. As this explains video, note taking, memorization and review becomes much faster, more appropriate and more optimal with this technique. Since there are only key words to write down, the student becomes more active in his listening, whether the target of attention is the teacher or a multimedia document. The same goes for taking notes while reading. Beneficially, the learner has more time to focus on what is going on, rather than trying to jot everything down at lightning speed - and not be able to read it back afterwards. Moreover, as the choice of keywords is up to the student, learning promises to be all the more meaningful.

This revision tool serves as a support for to study, but also for present an oral. For example, by placing the important points of his speech on his sheet, the student only has to take a furtive glance at the different corners of his memory aid, and he is comfortable talking about it without risk the famous blackouts.

Thus, the mind map offers a panoply of advantages and an immense educational potential, as confirmed by this article by Pierre Cohen-Bracie, educational advisor at Collège Montmorency and this page of the MindMapping.com website. Curious to discover some concrete examples of mind maps? See the second part of this dossier.

Summary of the file

Mind maps: advantages and frequent uses
Mind maps in the classroom: examples
Mind maps: content and structure
Mind maps: from paper to screen
À vos marques… Prêts?  « Cartez »!

About the Author

Anik Lessard Routhier
Anik Lessard Routhier
Anik is a freelance writer and lecturer at Collège Lionel-Groulx and Cégep Marie-Victorin.

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