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ERIC Number: ED550708
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 391
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-5162-5
The Effects of Utilizing Thinking Maps® to Influence Attitudes and Comprehension of Elementary School Males
Edwards, Patricia A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oakland University
The purpose of this mixed research design study was to examine how teachers in a large urban Midwestern district used Thinking Maps® with students in elementary school general education and special education classrooms. In addition, this study examined the use of Thinking Maps® with 30 urban elementary school males in two schools: one second grade, one fourth grade, and one classroom for the learning disabled. This inquiry enabled a descriptive analysis of the influence Thinking Maps® had on students' comprehension and attitudes toward reading with literature read-alouds and the district's core reading program Open Court Reading. Thinking Maps® are eight teaching tools that can be used as a common visual language across all academic content areas. They are linked to eight fundamental thinking processes of: (1) brainstorming, (2) describing, (3) comparing and contrasting, (4) categorizing and classifying, (5) whole to part relationships, (6) sequencing, (7) cause and effect relationships, and (8) recognizing analogous relationships. The multiple quantitative and qualitative data sources included: a ten question multiple choice survey designed to gather data on the frequency of use and general perceptions of Thinking Maps® as an instructional tool in the classroom, interviews of three elementary classroom teachers and their male students, the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey, and Thinking Maps® generated by the male students and teacher participants in the study. Several important conclusions can be drawn from this study. First, Thinking Maps® are beneficial for accessing and activating prior knowledge. Second, boys display positive attitudes towards reading when using Thinking Maps®. Third, significant comprehension skills are facilitated by the use of Thinking Maps®. Fourth, teachers have positive perceptions of Thinking Maps® following district training. Fifth, elementary age boys enjoy listening to read alouds and want to own children's literature books. Consistent and effective use of Thinking Maps® assists students in taking ownership of their learning and becoming independent thinkers. Professional development should include follow-up support and training within local schools and on a district level to support Thinking Maps® pedagogy and maximize continuity and fidelity of instruction. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Elementary Reading Attitude Survey