Raising Lifelong Skilful and Literate Thinkers - use mind mapping (structuring), categorisation of concepts, etc. Why? Our sensory perceptions are the starting point of our thinking. From these sensory perceptions we form first concepts. Because we can conceptualize, i.e. integrate new knowledge with prior knowledge, we are able to store a vast amount of information which we can bring back to conscious awareness when we need it.
We go on building the edifice of our knowledge by identifying and integrating new concepts on a wider and wider scale. For example: rose flower plant flora. We also break down wider concepts into narrower classifications.
However, when we try to learn something new, which we cannot integrate with our prior knowledge (existing cognitive structure), it cannot be fitted into our hierarchy of concepts (prior knowledge). For example, the concept "parent" is basic to the concept "orphan". If you not understand "parent", you will not understand "orphan" - the concept will have no meaning. When this happens, the new learning remains an isolated response and lacks meaning. This is rote learning. Since we cannot anchor it to any existing knowledge, it is likely that we will forget it more easily.