What is your background?
– The leading supervisor of China’s largest Mind Map (216 square meters)
– The largest hand-painted mind-map in China has appeared! This mind-map, “Chinese Outstanding Traditional Culture” is done by 230 students gathered in Qufu, the hometown of Confucius. I was honored to be the conductor of this 18-meter long, 12-meter wide mind-map and witness this exciting moment.
– Specially Appointed Expert of the China National Committee for the Wellbeing of Young People
– Distinguished Expert on the ‘Whole Brain Education’ Faculty & Training Committee of the Ministry for National Human Resources and Social Security
– Vice Editor of the “Mind Map Instructor” Educational Resources for the China Employment Training Technical Instruction Centre
– In December 2011, when Tony Buzan came to Beijing, Professor Liu presented a mind map, which she had drawn on the spot, to Mr. Buzan. This mind map was the subject of much praise from Buzan.
– Was the Main Illustrator of the 600 square meters Mind Map that was drawn as part of the 19th World Memory Championships.
– Previously taught a class called “Using Mind Maps in Leading Enterprises” at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. This class was the subject of unanimous praise from business leaders belonging to several different industries.
– Was the Main Lecturer at the “Conference for the National Promotion of Mind Maps”. Gave a highly compelling and interactive lecture at almost a hundred different venues in major Chinese cities (including, in chronological order, Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu). Via these lectures, Professor Liu successfully trained approximately 10,000 people, and was nominated as National Whole Brain Education’s Most Popular Lecturer.
– Was the Presenter of the Fortune Broadcasting Economic Channel at Zhejiang Radio & TV Group.
Major Awards & Prizes
– November, 2012: Was awarded the title of Specially Appointed Expert on the “China National Committee for the Wellbeing of Young People”
– September, 2010: Was awarded the title of Outstanding Gardener at the 4th Beijing Municipal Gardening Event.
– 21th October, 2001: Was awarded the Prize for National Excellence, the First Prize for Tangshan Regional Presenters and Prize for Best Performance in the Presenters Category at the Final Round of the 8th “Gilda Cup” National Talent Show, which was organized by the Chinese Ministry of Culture (CSPD  No. 654).
– 30th November, 2007: Was awarded a national scholarship for the period of 2006-2007 by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (Serial No.: 2007-37750)
Reflections on being a teacher
In 2008, Professor Liu came into contact with and began to research the application of mind maps. After several years of educational research and experience, Professor Liu discovered that mind map were not only an extremely effective tool for teaching and learning—they also represented a revolutionary set of educational principles founded upon the visualization of thoughts. Therefore, Liu began to experiment with different techniques for drawing mind maps. From these experiments, Liu derived some beneficial educational experiences, which she has summarized in the following three points:
1) Mind maps are especially significant as far as elementary education is concerned. Via her real-life teaching experiences, Professor Liu established how teachers can appropriately integrate mind maps in the classroom. She also determined how students can use mind maps in order to help them study outside of the classroom, thus giving a new breath of life to student learning and classroom reform.
2) Via the application of mind maps, Professor Liu taught students not only how to study, but how to think, thus increasing their capacity for learning and critical thinking. She helped students find study methods that suited their individual needs, thus cultivating in students important skills for independent learning. She also helped students to construct ‘knowledge networks’, which allow students to define and understand the relationship between different types of knowledge. These so-called networks allow the organization and integration of content learnt in the classroom and have therefore contributed to improving children’s test results.
3) The teaching methods researched by Professor Liu Yan helped align the use of mind maps with the standards of the current stage of classroom reform, and as such were the subject of much praise from countless education experts. The use of mind maps is conducive to the development self-confidence and creativity in children. Mind maps provide an invaluable support for children as they develop and refine their thought processes. In recent years, Professor Liu has used her prolific teaching experience in order to share Tony Buzan’s thinking tools with other teachers, students and enterprises. In the future, she hopes to selflessly share with others her accumulated experience and revolutionary insights in the field of mind maps.