Visual Mapping to Enhance Learning and Critical Thinking Skills

Héctor C. Santiago, OD, PhD, FAAO


Visual mapping allows the learner to explicitly explore, analyze, synthesize and share ideas.This paper reviews mapping tools suited for brainstorming and picturing the thinking process (mind mapping), exploring the structure of knowledge (concept mapping), developing premises, counter arguments and conclusions around a contention (argument maps), exploring the learner’s own thinking process (®Thinking Maps), seeking the inter-relation among variables (general systems thinking) and developing simulation models (system dynamics).The paper also presents the evidence on the effectiveness of these tools in promoting recall, comprehension and general critical thinking skills.

Key Words: critical thinking, recall, comprehension, visual map, mind map, concept map, thinking map, systems thinking, system dynamics

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