Online ISSN: 1989-9572

Volume 4, Issue 1

Volume 4, Issue 1, Winter 2013


Concept mapping for learners of all ages

Nancy L. Gallenstein

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 59-72

Concept mapping is an inquiry technique that provides students at all ages with opportunities to demonstrate learning through performance. A concept map refers to a graphic/visual representation of concepts with linking connections that show various relationships between concepts (Novak & Gowin, 1984). Assessment is an ongoing process integrated with instruction across subject areas. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) emphasizes that assessment should focus on both the enhancement of student learning as well as serve as a valuable tool for making instructional decisions (NCTM, 2000). Assessment activities can take on a variety of forms, one being performance tasks. In this manuscript, an explanation of concept mapping is provided for learners ages 3 – 12 along with several examples of concept maps for young learners, including examples from an assessment project in the subject area of mathematics. Also presented are the numerous benefits of the concept mapping technique for both students and teachers

Concept mapping. An international outlook

Fermín González García

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 8-13

The creation of concept mapping and their subsequent evolution go together with the impressive work of Professor J. D. Novak. His works, from the doctoral thesis of 1958 to its current implementation of the more advanced methods to improve the learning process, and therefore the teaching, have pointed to a clear pedagogical approach. This special issue of the Journal represents a magnificent example of his influence, evidenced by the participation of relevant speakers relating their experiences in the fields of teaching, research, and management.

Empowering Learners and Educators

Joseph D. Novak

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 14-24

The most important factor leading to empowerment of individuals is the ability and commitment to achieve high levels of meaningful learning. Meaningful learning requires integration of new concepts and propositions into the learnerʼs cognitive structure to achieve high levels of organized knowledge that can be represented as knowledge models. Concept mapping and new educational strategies can facilitate the process.

Concept mapping as an empowering method to promote learning, thinking, teaching and research

Mauri Kalervo Åhlberg

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 25-35

Results 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.

Cmapanalysis: an extensible concept map analysis tool

Alberto J. Cañas, Larry Bunch, Joseph D. Novak, Priit Reiska

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 36-46

Concept maps are used extensively as an assessment tool, and the literature is abundant with studies on the use of concept maps for assessment and on the assessment of concept maps. The assessment of concept maps can be an arduous process, in particular when assessing a large number of maps. CmapAnalysis is a software tool that facilitates performing various analysis measures on a collection of concept maps. A set of measures that consider size, quality and structure properties of the maps are included. The program is designed to be extensible, allowing
users to add their own measures. The program is not intended to replace the individual evaluation of concept maps by teachers and instructors, as it does not capable of “understanding” the content of the maps. It is aimed at researchers who are looking for more general trends and measures across a large number of maps, and who can extend it with their own measures. The output of CmapAnalysis is an Excel spreadsheet that can be further analyzed.

The epistemic dimension in discourse analysis in a physicochemical class

Guillermo Cutrera, Silvia Stipcich, Ricardo Chrobak

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 47-58

The distinction between knowledge in sciences and knowledge of sciences, highlights the importance of knowledge about different aspects of the scientific activity. This double dimension of the school content is recovered through the different high school curriculum reforms in different countries. In this work we analyze how a prospective teacher of chemistry, conveys different notions on the nature of science through his discourse. We propose and discuss a categorization of those notions and the process of analysis is synthesized through the use of conceptual maps.

Successful experiences in the application of Concept Maps in Engineering in Computing, Mexico

Beatriz Guardian Soto, Jorge F. Veloz Ortiz, Iovanna A. Rodríguez Moreno, Luis E. Veloz Ortiz

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 73-84

Today there is an enormous amount of work related to new models and styles of learning and instruction in the field of engineering. In the case of the engineering degree in computing that is taught in the Mexico National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), there is a working group led by an expert of international waisted whose success and work thereon, processes are reflected in this text through experiences gained in the last 8 years with students and teachers, thus generatingthe requirements and tools for the globalised world and the knowledge society in which we find ourselves. Lessons learned are in subjects as the theory of automata (TA), compilers (Cs), analysis of algorithms (AA), (R), Artificial Intelligence (AI), computer programming (P) networks, degree project (PT) and strategic planning (PE) mainly, among others to facilitate the understanding of concepts and applications by the student and believe that through the teaching strategy using concept maps developed by j. Novak results have been favorable in dynamism, understanding and generating meaningful learning in the long term, providing well, solid elements for your professional practice. Listed proposals obtained by teachers and exercises developed by teachers and students.

Lessons learned across a decade of knowledge modeling

Robert Hoffman, Jameson Beach

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 85-95

I review lessons learned in the creation of knowledge models composed of Concept Maps. The models were developed in studies of expertise in a variety of domains including weather forecasting, clinical oncology, and terrain analysis. Lessons learned pertain to a number of methodological issues, such as the measurement of the effectiveness of knowledge elicitation methods, issues in organizing, resourcing and navigating large sets of Concept Maps, and issues in comparing computer performance to that of humans.

Concept mapping and the fundamental problem of moving between knowledge structures

Ian M. Kinchin

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 96-106

A concept map provides a ʻsnap shotʼ of a studentʼs understanding that is frozen in time by drawing it out on paper or on a computer screen. However, to represent the dynamic state of student learning, concept maps either need to emphasise dynamism (through the phrases that are chosen to act as links within the propositions that form the map), or need to be viewed as a single perspective on a more complex situation that can only be fully appreciated by considering movement between knowledge structures (e.g. through sequential mapping over time, or by indicating relationships between map structures that represent complementary learning contexts). The recognition of the importance of movement between knowledge structures needs careful management, whether teaching is conducted as a face-to-face activity or (increasingly) as a digital/online activity. Existing models of e-learning development (such as the TPACK model) can be modified to accommodate a multiple perspectives view. When the purpose of teaching is the promotion of studentsʼ ability to move between knowledge structures (rather than acquiring a single structure), the purpose of producing a concept map changes and becomes part of a wider dynamic process of learning, rather than providing a static record of what has already been learnt.

Using progressive concept maps as a strategy for teaching and learning in teacher education in Biology

Conceição Aparecida Soares Mendonça

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 107-121

This paper presents a study carried out with Biology teachers under training, and aimed at investigating how concept maps enabled meaningful learning. The work was motivated by the fact that future teachers presented difficulties learning various concepts. In this light, maps can be a valuable instrument for the diagnosis and assessment of learning, enabling better concept learning. Thus, during our pedagogical intervention, we have strived to identify the conceptual evolution of students, through the construction of concept maps before, during and after the study of a proposed theme. The qualitative analysis of the produced maps focused on the processes of teaching, learning and assessment. At this point, the goal was to investigate whether or not students were able to relate the concepts under study, according to the principles of progressive differentiation and integrative reconcilitation. This was done while searching for evidences of meaningful learning.The pedagogical intervention lasted for 45 hours (8 meetings), during which a Zoology topic, concept Elephants was studied at a State university of Brazil. The qualitative analysis of the maps created by the learners has shown, in 58% of the cases, that there was an evolution of the learnersʼ knowledge of the theme. Obtained results suggest that maps have an efficient functional action and help improve the professional profile under formation

The use of concept maps to detect and correct concept errors (mistakes)

Ladislada del Puy Molina Azcárate

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 122-131

This work proposes to detect and correct concept errors (EECC) to obtain Meaningful Learning (AS). The Conductive Model does not respond to the demand of meaningful learning that implies gathering thought, feeling and action to lead students up to both compromise and responsibility. In order to respond to the society competition about knowledge and information it is necessary to change the way of teaching and learning (from conductive model to constructive model). In this context it is important not only to learn meaningfully but also to create knowledge so as to developed dissertive, creative and critical thought, and the EECC are and obstacle to cope with this. This study tries to get ride of EECC in order to get meaningful learning. For this, it is essential to elaborate a Teaching Module (MI). This teaching Module implies the treatment of concept errors by a teacher
able to change the dynamic of the group in the classroom. This M.I. was used among sixth grade primary school and first grade secondary school in some state-assisted schools in the North of Argentina (Tucumán and Jujuy). After evaluation, the results showed great and positive changes among the experimental groups taking into account the attitude and the academic results. Meaningful Learning was shown through pupilʼs creativity, expressions and also their ability of putting this into practice into everyday life.

Integration of ICT, metacognitive tools and research in science and environmental education. Case study: availability of water, from basin of Patagonia northwestern and its relationship with solar activity

Ana Beatriz Prieto, Ricardo Chrobak

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 132-141

This work shows an educational innovation developed in an agrotechnical school, involved collaborative international networks, of environmental education, as The GLOBE Program and Environment On-Line which are based on the realization of environmental measurements, research and communication using ICT. For data analysis, processing, design and execution of research, students used metacognitive tools (concept maps and Gowinʼs Vee). After, they developed a multimedia presentation to disseminate their research. We performed a survey on the methodology employed and analyzed the results in terms of skills and gained knowledge during the research
work.

Large scale studies with concept mapping

Katrin Soika, Priit Reiska

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 142-153

Concept mapping is a method for determining the achievement of knowledge. Concepts are linked with labelled lines to proposition and so the concepts create a graphical structured meaningful relationship. There are many ways to use concept mapping in research as data collecting and assessment instrument. Changing the conditions (like focus question about the concept map, lists of concepts, given structure of concept map etc.) also change the results. For a valid research is necessary to analyse the study and define the aims before collecting the data. Probably the most comfortable concept mapping constructing opportunity is to use special Internet based environment and analysing program – that makes data collection easier and more objective. This article brings
out, what kind of problems may occur, when concept mapping method is used as a research instrument in a large scale study and it also tries to define how to select the a valid instrument for a study. Researchers want to analyse studentsʼ knowledge, but instead sometimes they can only control whether they were able to create concept maps. The study brought out, that the quality of concept maps does not depend on concept maps creating frequency and computer handling skills

Integrating collaborative concept mapping in case based learning

Alfredo Tifi

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 154-163

Different significance of collaborative concept mapping and collaborative argumentation in Case Based Learning are discussed and compared in the different perspectives of answering focus questions, of fostering reflective thinking skills and in managing uncertainty in problem solving in a scaffolded environment. Marked differences are pointed out between the way concepts are used in constructing concept maps and the way meanings are adopted in case-based learning throughguided argumentation activities. Shared concept maps should be given different scopes, as for example a) as an advance organizer in preparing a background system of concepts that will undergo transformation while accompanying the inquiry activities on case studies or problems; b) together with narratives, to enhance awareness of the situated epistemologies that are being entailed in choosing certain concepts during more complex case studies, and c) after-learning construction of a holistic vision of the whole domain by means of the most inclusive concepts, while scaffoldedcollaborative writing of narratives and arguments in describing-treating cases could better serve as a source of situated-inspired tools to create-refine meanings for particular concepts.

Concept maps and the meaningful learning of science

José Antonio C. S. Valadares

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 164-179

The foundations of the Meaningful Learning Theory (MLT) were laid by David Ausubel. The MLT was highly valued by the contributions of Joseph Novak and D. B. Gowin. Unlike other learning theories, the MLT has an operational component, since there are some instruments based on it and with the meaningful learning facilitation as aim. These tools were designated graphic organizers by John Trowbridge and James Wandersee (2000, pp. 100-129). One of them is the concept map created by Novak to extract meanings from an amalgam of information, having currently many applications. The other one is the Vee diagram or knowledge Vee, also called epistemological Vee or heuristic Vee. It was created by Gowin, and is an excellent organizer, for example to unpack and make transparent the unclear information from an information source. Both instruments help us in processing and
becoming conceptually transparent the information, to facilitate the cognitive process of new meanings construction. In this work, after a brief introduction, it will be developed the epistemological and psychological grounds of MLT, followed by a reference to constructivist learning environments facilitators of the meaningful learning, the characterization of concept maps and exemplification of its use in various applications that have proved to be very effective from the standpoint of meaningful learning.

The use of concept mapping and vee heuristics in higher education to promote critical reflection and meaningful learning

Jacqueline Vanhear

Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 180-194

Higher Education is currently undergoing relentless change worldwide in order to respond effectively to the aspirations of the 21st century. Consequently, prevalent literature in Higher Education calls for more emphasis on the studentsʼ learning process through increased metacognition and critical reflection. This paper starts off with the assumption that learning takes place through the integration of thinking, feeling and acting. As a result, this paper will present a model of teaching and learning in Higher Education through the integrated use of Vee Heuristics and Concept Mapping. This research will suggest that when using Concept Maps, Vee Heuristics along with an awareness of how students prefer to learn, the students will go through a metacognitive learning process which would eventually lead to critical reflection and meaningful learning. Using University studentsʼ work products, this study traces the effect of a learnerʼs mental operations on the learnerʼs use of Vee Heuristics and Concept Mapping as the learner embeds and retrieves new and scaffolded knowledge. The data collected reveals the powerful effect which this combination of learning tools yielded on student achievement and transformation