Below is a brief summary of "Closing the Gap by Connecting Culture, Language, and Cognition" from Student Successes with Thinking Maps. Click on "post a comment" at the end of this entry to comment on the full article.
Yvette Jackson, the Executive Director of the National Urban Alliance, hopes to change teacher perceptions about underachieving students. NUA also hopes to bridge the cultural gap between students and teachers. Jackson and NUA believe that a shift needs to occur from what has to be taught (content) to how learning happens (process).
NUA believes in the following equation:
Learning = (Understanding + Motivation) (Competence and Confidence)
NUA believes that Thinking Maps are "essential tools in bridging the cultural gap between teachers and students" because they address the inter-related nature of culture, language and cognition.
NUA does acknowledge that Thinking Maps are one tool to give teachers a language to address the needs of underachieving students because they help eliminate textual blockers, both semantic and structural blockers. This mediation happens because Thinking Maps provide a clear language to discuss metacognition, and the maps become external memory patterns for students.
Thinking Maps are a common language that can be transferred across disciplines and grade levels.