top of page

Scientific Thinking

The scientific method has been instrumental in guiding research as baseline approach. Yet, as students grapple with abstract concepts, nonlinear systems such as eco-systems, and everyday science in their lives, they must look for and identify patterns drawn from different sources and “make” sense of it all. Concept Mapping, Concept Circles (feedback cycles), systems diagramming and other visual tools improve students’ abilities to see patterns in information. Novak and Gowin’s book “Learning how to Learn” was a groundbreaking book for demonstrating how visual representations support learning in drawing together linear and nonlinear information. A starting point for understanding how Thinking Maps support students in a systematic way is offered in the chapter below “Thinking Like a Scientist” by science educator Lou Ann Conroy.

The Development and Validation of a Thinking Maps-Aided Problem-Based Learning Module for Physical Science Theme of Year 5 Science
By Ruslan Mapeala, Nyet Moi Siew, Institute of Teacher Education and University Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia. 2016

Click on the PDF icon to download

The main objective of this study is to explain about the development and validation of a Thinking Maps-aided Problem-Based Learning module for Year 5 Science subject of Physical Science Theme (energy, light, electricity and heat) which is less mastered by the students. The development of this module was based on ADDIE instructional design model that is the basis of other instructional design models. ADDIE model consists of five phases, namely analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. Four experts were involved in this study; a Malaysia public university lecturer, a director of Malaysia Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics, a primary school science pedagogy lecturer at the Institute of Teacher Education, a Primary School Science's Excellent Teacher for the purpose of content validity and a linguist to perform face validity in terms of the use of language in the module. The findings of the expert panel evaluation show excellentmodule validity. The module prototype has been tested in a pilot study which involved 30 students from Year 5 at a primary school in Tawau, Sabah. The findings of this study show that the total value of the module reliability is high (Cronbach's Alpha = .96). This describes that the developed module has high internal consistency and is suitable to be used in the process of teaching and learning of Year 5 Science for the topics in Physical Science theme. Therefore, this study suggests that the developed module can be used as a teaching aid for topics in Physical Science theme of Science Year 5.

Moving Beyond Concepts: Getting Urban High School Students Engaged in Science through Cognitive Processes
By Renu Singh, Arizona State University, Arizona, United States. 2014

The purpose of this action research study was to investigate students’ conceptual understandings when thinking processes were taught in an explicit fashion prior to teaching concepts.


Through this process four themes emerged:

(1) students' engagement in the activities;

(2) students' use of and beliefs about Thinking Maps as learning tools;

(3) students' demonstration of deeper level thinking; and

(4) use of cognitive process.

Click on the PDF icon to download

The Effect of Using Thinking Maps Strategy to Improve Science Processes in Science Course on Female Students of the Ninth Grade
By Salah A. Al-naqa, Mohammed F. Abu-Owda, Islamic University of Gaza, Science Journal of Education. 2014

Click on the PDF icon to download

The study aimed to uncover the effect of using thinking maps strategy in the improvement of science processes in science course among Female Students of the Ninth Grade. To achieve the study objectives, the researchers used both of the experimental and descriptive curriculum. They also built a scale of science processes. The study has been applied on a sample of 40 female students from the ninth grade in Khanyounis school for females which are divided into (EG=20) and (CG=20) students. After the implementation the study discovered the existence effective impact to use thinking maps strategy to improve science processes of the female students of the experimental group. 

Visual Mapping to Enhance Learning and Critical Thinking Skills
By Héctor C. Santiago, OD, PhD, FAAO. Universidad Interamericana, Puerto Rico. Optometric Education, Volume 36, Number 3. 2011

Click on the PDF icon to download

This paper reviews visual tools that can potentially increase students’comprehension, meaningful learning and critical thinking skills. Although most tools have received ex- perimental corroboration of their ef- fectiveness in schools, undergraduate, graduate and medical education, there is still very limited use in optometric education.11 It is hoped that this paper will stimulate further study, experi- mentation and implementation in our schools and colleges of optometry. 

An Examination of Thinking Maps in the Context of Inquiry-Based Science Education for Fifth-Grade Students.
By C. Angus Morgan-Janes,Franklin Pierce University, New Hampshire, United States. 2009

Click on the PDF icon to download

This study examined the effectiveness of Thinking Maps® in support of inquiry science. A representative sample of student work was coded; these included scientists’ notebooks, unit evaluations, and questionnaires. This coding revealed unanticipated outcomes. Students receiving reading instruction in the school resource room were able to more effectively use Thinking Maps than either the Gifted and Talented or Average learner groups.

The Effectiveness Of Using Some Thinking Maps In Teaching Science In Achievement and Acquisition Problem solving Skills For Pupils Of Basic Education
By Sanaa Abd El Azeem Elsayed Abd El Rahman, Zagazig University, Sharkia, Egypt. 2010

Pupils of the experiment group gained high scores but pupils of the control group gained low scores in pre achievement test and problem solving skills test because of Thinking Maps which experiment group use.  Thinking Maps are powerful visual tools and have a significant statistical effect on achievement and acquisition problem solving skills, Thinking Maps helped pupils of second preparatory schools to organize, compare and generate ideas and taught them what information was important and less important . Thinking Maps gave my pupils the way of logical thinking that require to solve complex problems.

Click on the PDF icon to download the introduction and conclusion of this thesis in English

Click on the PDF icon to download Part 1 of this thesis in Arabic

Click on the PDF icon to download Part 2 of this thesis in Arabic

bottom of page