Concept Mapping and Environment as Connection

Proctor, James D. and Bernstein, Jennifer (2012) Concept Mapping and Environment as Connection. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Fifth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. University of Malta, Valetta, Malta, pp. 89-96. ISBN 978-99957-0-308-0

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What is environment? We follow recent scholarly literature in approaching environment as connection, not as some category of reality, and consider pedagogical implications via concept mapping. Concept maps potentially offer a visually explicit means of representing and analyzing the hybrid connections between actors that define environmental issues. We explore the utility of concept mapping as pioneered by Joseph Novak and others via the CmapTools application, in which concept maps (cmaps) consist of concepts (boxes or nouns) connected by propositions (arrows or verbs); both can include linked resources, and the resultant cmap can be collaboratively edited and shared online. We evaluate concept mapping in the context of a sophomore- level environmental methods course taught annually at Lewis & Clark College. The course includes a variety of concept mapping exercises designed for students to reflect on their environmental perspectives, synthesize course material, and explore a proposed topic for environmental research. These exercises were evaluated in fall 2010 using self-reports, assessment rubrics, and open- ended student responses. Results showed that higher-achieving students generally found concept mapping more demanding and attained more sophisticated understandings of connections. This suggests that concept mapping helps facilitate the intellectual struggle that characterizes engaged learning; yet in a larger sense, the study illustrates challenges in cultivating new approaches to environment among undergraduate students.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2012
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2012 21:21
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2012 11:46

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