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

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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.


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Zipp, G., & Maher, C. (2013). Prevalence of mind mapping as a teaching and learning strategy in physical therapy curricula. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13(5), 21–32. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Genevieve Zipp, Seton Hall University South Orange NJ

Genevieve Pinto Zipp PT, EdD Professor, Department of Graduate Programs in Health Sciences Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences 400 South Orange Ave, South Orange NJ 07079 TEL: 973-275-2457 FAX: 973-275-2171

Catherine Maher, Seton Hall Univeristy South Orange NJ

Assistant Professor

Department of Physical Therapy

School of Health and Medical Sciences

Seton Hall University


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