Below please find some examples of how Buzan's Mind Mapping could be intergrated into general classroom practice:

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is a relevant and purposeful example of how Buzan’s Mind Mapping can be used in the classroom. Using a Mind Map for creative thinking can stretch and expand creative thinking and brainstorming abilities, therefore gaining new insights to new ideas. Buzan (1993) notes that the mind map is ideally suited to creative thinking because it utilises all the skills commonly associated with creativity, especially imagination, association of skills and flexibility. Therefore, Buzan’s Mind Maps could be used in the classroom as a creative tool for children to show their learning ie: an assessment tool. According to Buzan (2003) creative intelligence is becoming particularly significant in the new change-orientated and information/thought-based twenty-first century. This shows it is an important tool for creative thinkers in the classroom.

Problem Solving

Buzan’s Mind Mapping could be used in the classroom for problem solving activities. Buzan (1993) notes that Mind Maps present only relevant material in a clear and memorable form. As a class if you are brain storming an idea then Mind Maps can help you to cut back the information and focus on only the key issues/ideas.

Buzan (1993) suggests that the pictures in Mind Maps are designed to stimulate the minds of the students to; ask questions during the course of teaching to; encourage discussion and to; indicate activity. Therefore, using a Mind Map to problem solve would encourage all of these. For example if a class had a problem that required a group decision they could put the problem as a central image. From this central image/problem the class could discuss and branch out all the possible solutions. Then further branches could be added as the class discussed the implications of the possible solutions. Buzan (1993) notes that Group Mind Mapping places the problem within a much wider context, allowing a deeper understanding of its causes and a stronger motivation to resolve it. During the group discussion the students could be continually adding to the Mind Map using technology such as the computer programme iMindMap 5 displayed on the interactive whiteboard.

Memory Improvement
Memory is used everyday by students and teachers. During the school day we are expected to remember routines for numerous events and subjects along with the content surrounding each subject. Buzan’s (1993) research has shown that during the learning process, the human brain primarily picks up on the following;

  • Items from the beginning and end of a learning period (the primary and recency effect);
  • Any items associated with things or patters already sorted, or linked to other aspects of what is being learning;
  • Items that are emphasised as being in some way outstanding or unique;
  • If the five senses are used;
  • If it is interesting to the learner.

The mind map exists around the factors above. If mind maps were used in the classroom students would be exposed to several proven ways that encourage the storing of information. Therefore, catering for various students preferred learning styles.

The use of Mind Mapping for remembering is not something that starts at school. Buzan (1993) states that it is how we are wired from when we are born

“One of the first words babies speak is ‘Mama’. Why ‘Mama’? Because ‘Mama is the centre of the mind map! From her radiate the main branches of love, food, warmth, protection, transport and education” (Buzan, 1993, p.223).