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Debunking the mindmap

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 28 Aug 2011, 10:20

I Loved this offered by fellow OU Student Clive Hilton yesterday (see his entry below)

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Mind maps can be such twaddle.

For a few days I taught Tony Burzan in Secondary Schools; the best mind map wasn't a mind map at all, it was a football field.

I was not invited to continue with my efforts to teach memory tricks and cheats after that my second only effort to occupy 40 Year 9s.

Another blog, another day ...

An eventful seven hours or so. Despite the need for an essay plan, bullet points or an ordered list.

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I tried to write a TMA from a mind map and got myself as ludicrously tied in knots as it is with unlinked threads and a failure to group the content; a Venn Diagram would have worked better. Which is a point as applicable to the software that creates these things, know your tools and choices and make them. Sometimes the old, simple ways work best. Essays and assignments, like a narrative, are linear.

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My A' level Geography teacher Mr D.Rhodes of the Newcastle R.G.S had the best approach.

An essay should look like a flower

  • six petals = six ideas
  • the stamen = the topic
  • the stem = the introduction and conclusion.

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A shorthand doodle at the end of an essay would often feature such a flower with ONE huge leaf until I got the picture.

An essay plan or treatment, unlike a mind-map, requires effort, concentration and thought.

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