Mapping Thinking Across a Trust

Creating visual representations of the thinking process can reveal a lot about how students are receiving and retrieving information. Hanna Miller shows how implementation of Thinking Maps across an entire School Trust is providing a framework for success in multiple areas.

When embarking on a new stage of schooling, each student brings with them a different experience of what learning looks like and feels like, often reinforced by their experiences – sometimes positive and contributing towards the development of a confident and competent learner, but other times negative, which can leave learners feeling overwhelmed, anxious or despondent. Hyerle and Alper state that, ‘Thinking Maps serve as a device for mediating thinking, listening, speaking, reading, writing, problem solving, and acquiring new knowledge’ and for our Trust schools, these visual representations provide a ‘portal’ into the thinking that is taking place in the heads of our students and a language to communicate it.1 The infusion of Hyerle’s Thinking Maps across the whole curriculum has provided our students with a method to sort and present information, providing a rich vocabulary to express and discuss their ideas in relation to the content they are studying and their underlying thinking.

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