Application of Mind Maps and Mind Manager to Improve Students’ Competence in Solving Chemistry Problems

  • Zhen Lu
  • Zheng Zou
  • Yitian Zhang


This chapter describes research using mind maps and the software Mind Manage to improve students’ abilities to solve chemistry problems during a transition period of chemistry instruction in China. Mind maps were first introduced and put into practice in chemistry elective courses by the author in 2005. In the 2008 fall semester, 19 students from the 10th grade started to learn the theory of mind maps and the use of Mind Manager, applying them to the study of solving chemical problems in Nanjing No. 3 High School. The aim was to explore and enhance students’ problem-solving competence. The course adopted the processes of “cognitive reception – imitation practice – self exploration” so as to observe the influence of this new way of thinking on students’ change in regard to solving chemistry problems. Students were prompted to think divergently and comprehensively and to apply multidisciplinary knowledge to solving chemistry problems. The results indicate that students can consciously apply mind maps to solving chemistry problems and showed a variety of representation methods. The students’ ability to solve problems was improved. A significant difference appeared between the control group and the experimental group. The results indicate that mind maps and Mind Manager can effectively improve competence and achievement of students in chemistry.


Final Exam Exam Score Chemistry Problem Warring States Period Mind Manager 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ashmore, A. D., Fraze, J., & Case, R. J. (1979). Problem solving and problem solving networks in chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 56(6), 377–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ausubel, D.P. (1978). In defence of advanced organizer: A reply to the critics. Review of Educational Research 48(2), 251–257.Google Scholar
  3. Buzan, T. (2004). Mind map–radioactivity thinking. Beijing, China: World Book Public.Google Scholar
  4. Gabel, D. (1998). The Complexity of Chemistry and Implication for Teaching.International Handbook of Science Education. Netherlands: Kluwer Publishers, 233–248.Google Scholar
  5. Johnstone, A. H. (1991). Why is science difficult to learn? Things are seldom what they seem. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 7, 75–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mayer, R. E. (1992). Thinking, problem solving, cognition (2nd ed.). New York: W H Freeman/Times Books/Henry Holt & Co.Google Scholar
  7. Mayer, R. E. (1996). Learners as information processors: Legacies and limitations of educational psychology’s second. Educational Psychologist 31(3–4), 151–161.Google Scholar
  8. Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China. (2005). Chemistry curriculum standard of high school. Hubei, China: Hubei Education Public.Google Scholar
  9. Xinde, W. (2006). The study of strategy training on students chemical problem solving in high school. Zhongqing, China: Southwest University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Zhen, L. (2006). The integration research of information technology with new chemical curriculum – the mind map and mind manager with chemical modules learning. Teaching and Learning Reference for Middle School Chemistry, 279, 47–49.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Teacher Education, Institute of Curriculum and InstructionNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jinling High SchoolNanjingChina
  3. 3.Chemistry Teaching Office, Xuanwu Foreign Language SchoolNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations