Argument maps

Argument maps are a way to visualize an argument. The benefits of this system are that they force you to:

Thus clarifying not only the argument itself but the thinking behind, as clear writing necessitates of clear comprehension.

According to some research papers (citation to be added), argument mapping and visualization facilitates the teaching of critical thinking. The reason for this are fairly obvious: visualizations are a more immediate way to structure knowledge than pure text, since they co-opt visual cognitive capabilities to represent both properties and relationships between objects. For example, a map might represent the connection between two topics with a line, without explicitely having to explain what kind of connection the line represents. It is contextual and ambiguous, but also easier to conceptualize at a first glance than the limited knowledge transmission bandwidth language allows per second.

Mapping knowledge (or, as some people put it, knowledge cartography) is, then, a part of processing - knowledge is not only static information storage, but a dynamic self-assembling model that arises from the connections between experiential or conceptual nodes forming mental models.

In terms of pedagogy, I wonder how much of an advantage an argument map represents over the traditional learning narratives we are exposed to.