Prevalence of mind mapping as a teaching and learning strategy in physical therapy curricula

Genevieve Zipp, Catherine Maher


Background and Purpose.  Regardless of our discipline educators seek to create environments that actively engage students in their learning journey. One teaching and learning strategy that has emerged in higher education is mind mapping (MM). The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the prevalence of MM usage in a health science professional curricula “physical therapy” and to determine if a relationship exists between faculty knowledge of mind maps and their use of the technique. Subjects/Methods. All Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited US physical therapist education program chairs (191) were emailed a request to participate in an on-line survey exploring the use of and knowledge of mind maps. The link to the survey was embedded in the email for direct access by the participants and was anonymous. Results.  Of the 191 physical therapist program chairs surveyed, 55 completed responses were received. Of the 55 respondents only 10.9% (n=6) reported using MM within their curriculum while 89.1% (n=49) did not. For the 49 programs not using MM, 56.4% stated that their program faculty would be interested in using MM. Participants open ended responses support four major themes regarding faculty lack of MM utilization, with limited awareness identified as the greatest barrier. Discussion/Conclusion. The findings from this exploratory study support that MM is not used in many physical therapist education programs primarily due to faculty’s lack of awareness. Interestingly, faculty would be interested in exploring its utility if they understood MMs tenets and relevance as a teaching and learning strategy.


Mind Mapping; Teaching and Learning Strategy

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ISSN 1527-9316