The Nature of Third Grade Students' Experiences with Concept Maps to Support Learning of Science Concepts

Merrill, Margaret L. (2012) The Nature of Third Grade Students' Experiences with Concept Maps to Support Learning of Science Concepts. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Fifth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. University of Malta, Valetta, Malta, pp. 398-405. ISBN 978-99957-0-309-7

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To support and improve effective science teaching, educators need methods to reveal student understandings and misconceptions of science concepts and to offer all students an opportunity to reflect on their own knowledge construction and organization. Students can benefit by engaging in scientific activities where they build personal connections between what is learned and their own experiences. Integrating student-constructed concept mapping into the science curriculum can reveal to both students and teachers the conceptual organization and understanding of science content, which can assist in building connections between concepts and personal experiences. This paper describes how a class of third grade students used concept maps to understand science concepts through revision of content and structure as new ideas occurred to them during class discussions and interviews. This paper also reports how students’ understandings and misconceptions were revealed through their construction of concept maps over time. Students were introduced to concept maps at the onset of a year-long science unit on watershed systems. Students then went on to build a series of concept maps over the course of the science unit using a software program. Each concept map built upon the previous map in the sequence for a total of seven maps per student. A concept map evaluative rubric displayed changes over time in students’ concept map structure and content. A formal assessment of watershed concepts was implemented four times during the course of the science unit. Data suggests that by working on concept maps in science class, students were able to reflect on their work and to appropriately revise their knowledge construction and content.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2012
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2012 20:25
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2012 20:25

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