On the web I found an interesting comment item from the Educational Guardian 2006 by Philip Beadle "Mind maps: rubbish in theory, but handy in practice". Being an educational piece Mr Beadle is concerned with mind mapping in the context of children, although that's quite an age range in reality. As the title suggests, the piece as a whole does not rubbish mind mapping completely, but the start got my goat.... You see I thought of the first impressions and assumptions that people may form coming to Hodges' cognitive x-roads. Do they turn back or cross the divide?
Beadle apparently mind mapped the article and asks the reader if they notice a rise in quantity. I don't know if it's a typo, but quality should be the factor here. He made several points:
- Mind-mapping is easy
- Send people to search for coloured pencils
- Sharpen them - and again - and again
- DO NOT use a felt pen
- Draw something in the middle (right dead bang, no less) of the paper
- Stay away from the sides - radiant thinkers need space
- Draw six multicoloured lines from the centre and a picture at the end of each
- Lines should be curly - no room for rulers in this realm
- Write key words in UPPER and lower case and voilà! A basic mind map is born
Hodges' model has a problem here. It is not scientific - not evidence based. Not for the last time I'll say that the website and this blog are a (faltering?) call for research.
In many subjects the concepts of locus and control is important, in psychology and therapy for example. In mind mapping what determines that initial centre-stage drawing? True it could be person-centred, situated and problem centred.
As described above, though the space (page) in mind mapping is blanc*, virginal, neutral and crucially - unstructured.
Actually, there's some grief and annoyance in store for the mind mapper coming to Hodges' model.
There they are coloured pencils in hand, tongue protruding seeking airborne creative inspiration...
And then, it happens "Sh-t! Who the hell has graffitied on my page!"
Then suddenly, a voice booms out from overhead:
"Greetings, mild-mannered mind-mapper. Here is an announcement: the centre of this page has been rendered a no-go-zone. It is now a hyper-dimensional nexus, the point of fusion between four disciplines, five even (how could I forget). It is Complexity and Chaos. You can venture as near as you wish. Now please do not fret; I have it on good authority that aesthetically many things look better slightly off-centre."The point I want to make - is the central importance of:
- Hodges' axes and knowledge domains - just where is the 'map'?
- How these influence the locus of control and association
- The concepts are already 'on' the page implicitly
- The user makes them explicit (in mind-mapping the space is aconceptual)
- The knowledge, skills, attitudes and aptitudes of the user (are they a novice or expert#?)
- Whether they are novice or expert, Hodges' model provides a common conceptual substrate
- Finally (though I could go on!) quality in health and social care - and without - is the real issue. There are times when silence is golden...
Take care out there and if I seem tied in knots please help!
Ack: *Michel Serres; #Benner, et al..