What I think about Mind Maps.

Many people have heard about and raved over Tony Buzan for his Mind Maps thingy and I recently bought 2 of his illustrated books to figure out what it is. I’ve heard about it for as long as it has been out but I never understood it. For a person that never buys books with color pictures, I spent $150 for two colorfully illustrated books (for children). I had to bring myself down to a level of books meant for children to get the concept of Mind Maps – and I admit, I still don’t.

I asked my 11 year old daughter to help – and we were both clueless. There was nothing in there my antenna could pick up. I pick things up all the time and I can make myself aware of the metacognition processes that happen when I’m listening or reading or observing something. Mind Maps was like Kryptonite to me – I heard nothing in my mind. Nothing. Where is the point?  At least with Mathematics or Physics or French I can say something’s happening, I see the point but it doesn’t interest me to pursue it from this premise. Coming across Mind Maps is like a fish coming across a manual on how to swim – what does a fish do with it?

I wonder if you understood my point – that as fantastic as Tony Buzan’s Mind Map thingy is, it is promoting a thinking and learning behavior that favors a particular kind of learning style. Sure some people can be taught to swim like fish but their abilities, while improved, invalidates other forms of movement and activities that they would perhaps have improved marginally better than learning to swim. If I were someone who didn’t do particularly well in school (swimming) I’d just go find learning outside of school because the longer you forget about and invalidate an innate learning style or aptitude, the greater the risk of never knowing you ever had it.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using it and there’s definitely nothing wrong with trying to improve our grades. The premise of this blog is not about not trying to do better than we can but in putting across a point that while Mind Mapping assists in improving a type of ability for school, there are many other types of abilities to focus on apart from what schooling and office work require.

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