Thinking maps are visual tools which correspond to eight fundamental cognitive processes that have been identified through extensive research into thinking and problem solving. These are:
Defining in context, Describing, Comparing and Contrasting, Classifying, Part-whole thinking, sequencing, Cause and effect thinking, seeing analogies.
The consistent use of these tools across all subject areas and within a whole-school approach to developing thinking skills has been found to greatly increase learning effectiveness at all age groups.
Examples of the use of thinking maps range extensively from story writing to scientific experiment.
The organisation promoting the training in the use of Thinking Maps in the UK is:
I have completed the ‘train the Trainers’ course run by TSI and am available to support the use of Thinking Maps in schools and initial training whole-school (primary and secondary) training in their use where an agreement has been brokered with TSI.
A particular interest of mine is the combination of the use of the thinking maps with that of P4C communities of enquiry. The maps can extend and augment the thinking in a community of enquiry. They can also be used as a tool for recording and evaluating the progress over time in collaborative thinking in an enquiry.