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...thinking IS the foundation for learning, so thank you for .

Reading Comprehension

In this section on reading comprehension you will find a wide array of documents and resources including doctoral dissertations on Thinking Maps®, chapters from professional books on visual tools, and video clips from the classroom and interviews.   These documents come from around the world!

Student Successes With Thinking Maps®
David Hyerle and Larry Alper coeditors Corwin Press, Second Edition, January 2011, Thousand Oaks, California

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Chapter 6: Maps for the Road to Reading Comprehension: Bridging Reading Text Structures to Writing Prompts
Thomasina DePinto Piercy, Ph.D. and David Hyerle, Ed.D.

‘While I am reading, my mind adds to my Thinking Maps all by itself, and suddenly I know more than I knew’. First Grade Student

The discussion among Ms. Smith and her students is within reach of any school, replicable, and may refine and even reframe reading and writing instruction, and even offer a new direction for cognitive science research. This teacher had brought students to such a high level of fluency with thinking maps that they could begin to identify text patterns on their own. They were able to use fundamental thinking skills vocabulary (describing, compare, causes, etc.) and respective cognitive maps (bubble, double bubble, multi-flow, etc.) and had the metacognitive awareness of being able to explicitly transfer these processes and tools to reading comprehension through identifying text structures. They were then able to return to their seats with blank sheets of paper and, with varying results, choose a thinking map and expand their thinking. They later went on to write about the story using the maps they had chosen to organize their ideas.

Here is the video from the classroom dialogue included in the chapter as students independently and fluently use all of the Thinking Maps (6 year olds!).

The lead author of this chapter, Thomasina DePinto Piercy , Ph.D. and principal/head of the school is interviewed here by co-author David Hyerle Ed.D. and they go into a deeper discussion of reading using Thinking Maps and the change process.

The Effect of Thinking Maps® on the Reading Achievement of Middle School Students: An Ex Post Facto Causal Comparative Study
By Karen Ogden Woodford, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. 2015
 

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...  the predominately socio-economically disadvantaged ... showed a significant gain in this subgroups’ scores over three years. School leaders must be committed to ensuring fidelity of the program and classroom use in a consistent way. Thinking Maps® is a program that must have the buy in of the educators ... in order for it to be effective. Administrators should meet with leadership teams and professional learning communities to ensure they are on board with this school-wide program from initial implementation.... The final implication is that different approaches may work better for different groups of students and that a “one size fits all” approach may not be beneficial to schools looking to improve. It is evident in past research done at the elementary level (Edwards, 2011; Hickie, 2006; Leary, 1999; Russell, 2010) that Thinking Maps® can be a tool to boost student achievement.

The Effects of Thinking Maps on Reading Scores of Traditional and Nontraditional College Students
By Marjann Kalehoff Ball, University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi, United States. 1998
 

"Since I began using Thinking Maps seven years ago, my observations, testimonials from students, and my doctoral research have confirmed that my search for a vehicle to transfer and integrate thinking skills in all areas is over. My research confirmed what my experience showed: a highly significant correlation between the use of Thinking Maps and improved reading comprehension scores of my students....

View this video of one of Marjann Ball's college level students who discusses how Thinking Maps helped improve her capacities to learn leading to higher test scores, but also influenced how she solved problems in her day to day life.

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"At the end of every semester I have students evaluate the course. Over the past three years (9 classes), between 85% to 90% of the students identified Thinking Maps as the most helpful tools for learning and transfer across their other classes.

Some of my students also elaborated with comments about the Thinking Maps, such as:
"Thinking Maps are the best strategy I have ever used to organize and help me recall information"
"The Thinking Maps allow me to see what I'm thinking and then reflect on what I thought"
"Why didn't we learn these in elementary school? Or on the job?"
"May I take these home to my children?"

Utilizing Thinking Maps® to Promote Reading Comprehension and Motivation to Read in Urban Elementary School Males. (Detroit, Michigan)
By Patricia A. Edwards, Doctoral Candidate, Oakland University. Rochester, Michigan, United States. 2011

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The overall purpose of this mixed method research design was to examine whether teachers in a large urban Midwestern district used Thinking Maps® (Appendix A) with students in elementary school general education and special education classrooms. In addition, this study examined the use of Thinking Maps® with boys in three elementary classrooms: one-second grade, one fourth grade, and one classroom for the learning disabled. Students’ attitudes and comprehension toward reading with respect to the district’s core reading program and literature read-alouds was the focus. Utilizing Thinking Maps® yielded important information about strategies to promote reading comprehension and motivation to read in urban elementary school males

Mind the Map: How Thinking Maps Affect Student Achievement
By Daniel Long, St.Francis Elementary and Dr. David Carlson, Arizona State University, United States. 2011

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In conclusion (from this Action Research Study), Thinking Maps make an excellent addition to any classroom because they teach students to think critically about subjects and form connections between subject disciplines. By watching their thoughts unfold in front of them, they will be better equipped to make curricular connections and develop deeper knowledge and understanding of concepts. Since Thinking Maps can be utilized across all grade levels and content areas, they are an invaluable resource for teachers. 

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Field Guide to Using Visual Tools (ASCD; 2000)
By David Hyerle, Ed.D.

Chapter 6: Thinking Maps® for Reading Minds

This chapter from the ASCD book "A Field Guide to Using Visual Tools" by David Hyerle gives educators a comprehensive understanding about how Thinking Maps® are used from early literacy up through high school and college level for reading comprehension.  Research on readingcomprehension is presented along with specific classroom examples developed by teachers to show how the basics of reading are facilitated along with higher order analysis of texts from across disciplines. 

Listen to an early years teacher discuss the use of Thinking Maps for literacy development beginning with phonemic awareness. What is the difference between the letters "n" and "m" ?

The Relationship Between Thinking Maps® and Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test® Reading and Mathematics Scores in Two Urban Middle Schools
By Ana Delgado Diaz, University of Central Florida, Orlando, United States. 2010

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Statistical analysis did not result in significant differences in the use of Thinking Maps® as measured by FCAT but there were percentage differences that may indicate educational significance for Hispanic, economically disadvantaged and English language learners in FCAT Reading and for white, black and students with disabilities in FCAT Mathematics. Results of this study should not discourage the implementation of Thinking Maps® instruction as visual tools for learning. FCAT may not be an appropriate instrument to measure if an instructional visual tool such as Thinking Maps® makes a difference in student achievement. A better measurement tool would be for teachers to develop rubrics that can be used to assess student generated Thinking Maps® or use rubrics provided in the Thinking Maps ®: A Language for Learning (Hyerle & Yeager, 2007) training manual.

The Impact of Thinking Maps Instruction on Tourism and Hotels Students' Reading Comprehension
By Dr. Taher Mohammad Al-Hadi, Suez Canal University, Egypt. 2009

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The current research aimed primarily to investigate the impact of Thinking Maps instruction on expository texts reading comprehension of Tourism & Hotels EFL sophomore students, Suez Canal University, N = 60 (exper. group = 30, control group = 30). 

The experimental / mapping group was explicitly taught expository reading materials using Thinking Maps-based instructional strategy. It comprised 5 Thinking Maps – the circle map, the bubble map, the tree map, the flow map, the multi-flow map - that correspond with and were thought to develop some reading comprehension skills: identifying the main ideas, deriving facts and details, giving characteristics, understanding sequencing, and identifying causes and effects.

Data were collected by two tools administered: Thinking Maps Awareness (TMA) test and Reading Comprehension (RC) test. Having had the data analyzed statistically, results revealed that there were significant mean differences between the mapping group and the non mapping group in favor of the first.

This stresses that Thinking Maps instruction had a positive direct impact on raising the mapping group's awareness of Thinking Maps as well as on developing their reading comprehension. Besides, it had a large effect size on those two aspects. 

Statistical analysis did not result in significant differences in the use of Thinking Maps® as measured by FCAT but there were percentage differences that may indicate educational significance for Hispanic, economically disadvantaged and English language learners in FCAT Reading and for white, black and students with disabilities in FCAT Mathematics. Results of this study should not discourage the implementation of Thinking Maps® instruction as visual tools for learning. FCAT may not be an appropriate instrument to measure if an instructional visual tool such as Thinking Maps® makes a difference in student achievement. A better measurement tool would be for teachers to develop rubrics that can be used to assess student generated Thinking Maps® or use rubrics provided in the Thinking Maps ®: A Language for Learning (Hyerle & Yeager, 2007) training manual.

An Examination of Student Performance after Two Years of Thinking Maps® Implementation in Three Tennessee Schools
By Katharine Mabie Hickie, East Tennessee State University, Tennessee, United States. 2006

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Improving Reading Compehension Through Visual Tools
Masters Degree Thesis by Cynthia Manning, Eastern Nazarene College, Boston, United States. 2003

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Part 1

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Part 2

Summary: Reading comprehension in learning disabled students can be increased with the classroom implementation of visual tools. Student performance was measured using MCAS reading scores before and after the introduction of Thinking Maps, i.e., a set of visual tools which are centered on the development of eight thinking processes. By integrating this common visual language throughout the school's curriculum, it was projected that more effective and efficient learning would be achieved. Assessment results indicated that reading comprehension was increased; it was also observed by classroom teachers that levels of performance rose overall in the following areas: concept attainment, reflective thinking, recall, retention, writing (quantity and quality), creativity, motivation, and cooperative learning skills. These findings are congruent with a multitude of research studies and support the position that student performance can be increased with the implementation of visual tools.

View the interview with Cynthia Manning school leader at Learning Prep and Thinking Maps researcher.

Reading Comprehension in Economics
Yemen. 2013

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The research aimed at identify of impact when using the thinking maps in teaching economy on comprehension and attitude of female students of the second secondary class - literary section -in Aden governorate, Republic of Yemen.

Sample of the research was consisted of 132 female students, distributed to three groups, 44 students for each group. The two groups, the experimental and the second control group were taught by using thinking maps, while the first control group was taught the same content by the traditional method. The pretest was applied to the two groups, the experimental and the first control group. The second control group was not exposed to that test to eradicate the probable effect.

To realize the research goals and to ascertain its hypothesis standardized comprehension test of 24 paragraphs was used multiple choice test. The coefficient of test reliability reached o.83.

Standardized attitude Scale of paragraphs was used, the coefficient of scale reached 0.71, and SPSS was used at the stages of standardized and testing hypothesis.

The results indicated to differences of statistical significance between:

- The experimental group and the first control group at the post comprehension test was in favour of the experimental group.

- The second control group and the first control group at the post comprehension test was in favour of the second control group.

- Averages of the test and the pre- scale and the test and the post scale were in favour of the post experimental group.

The results also inclicated that differences of statistical significance do not exist between the experimental group and the second control group at the comprehension test and post attitude scale.

Visual Data: Understanding and Applying Visual Data to Research in Education

Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 2008

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Chapter 2: Beyond the Wall of Text: Thinking Maps® as a Universal Visual Language for Transforming How We See Knowldge, Thinking and Learning
By David Hyerle, Ed.D.

So why are there few if any breakthroughs in education? I believe that this is because so few educators, researchers, and foundations funding innovation are focused on communication between teachers and learners, and how information and knowledge is represented by teachers and students in order to transform learning. As investigated in this writing, the lack of innovation is directly related to the paradigm of linearity: knowledge is transmitted through linear strings of words and numbers, in spoken or written forms. As offered below through the Thinking Maps language, one pathway to a significant breakthrough in teaching and learning may come when educators deeply consider the insights offered by Linda Darling Hammond and Pat Wolfe: the brain maps and networks information and that effective teachers need to explicitly support students’ minds as they create cognitive maps in order to learn.

“THE IMPACT OF THINKING MAPS INSTRUCTION ON READING COMPREHENSION OF THIRD GRADE STUDENTS IN A LARGE URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT: IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL LEADERS”
Unpublished, Doctoral Thesis by Newby Sharonda University of Houston, August 2015

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Abstract

With the stakes of the Texas accountability system increasing, schools are searching for resources to help improve thinking and learning. The No Child Left Behind Act emphasizes the federal government’s pledge to improve proficiency of readers by the third grade through the use of research-based reading practices in the early grade levels (Nelson, Benner, & Gonzalez, 2003). Thinking maps is an instructional strategy, which is intended to serve as a common visual language for students to foster specific cognitive thinking across all academic content areas. This program evaluation examined if there was a significant difference in the mean gains in reading comprehension scores as measured by the Diagnostic Reading Assessment between students who receive Thinking Maps as a strategy and those who do not.