Concept mapping as an empowering method to promote learning, thinking, teaching and research
Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers,
2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 25-35
AbstractResults and underpinning of over twenty years of research and development program of concept mapping is presented. Different graphical knowledge presentation tools, especially concept mapping and mind mapping, are compared. There are two main dimensions that differentiate graphical knowledge presentation methods: The first dimension is conceptual explicitness: from mere concepts to flexibly named links and clear propositions in concept maps. The second dimension in the classification system I am suggesting is whether there are pictures or not. Åhlbergʼs and his research groupʼs applications and developments of Novakian concept maps are compared to traditional Novakian concept maps. The main innovations include always using arrowheads to show direction of reading the concept map. Centrality of each concept is estimated from number of links to other concepts. In our empirical research over two decades, number of relevant concepts, and number of relevant propositions in studentsʼ concept maps, have been found to be the best indicators and predictors of meaningful learning. This is used in assessment of learning. Improved concept mapping is presented as a tool to analyze texts. The main innovation is numbering the links to show order of reading the concept map and to make it possible to transform concept map back to the original prose text as closely as possible. In Åhlberg and his research groupʼs research, concept mapping has been tested in all main phases of research, teaching and learning.
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