Concept Maps in Panamanian Classrooms: Searching for Photographs of Knowledge

Rodríguez Rojas, Miguel Ángel and Sánchez, Ernesto and Barrios, José del Carmen and Vergara, Julio and Torres, Omaida and Bravo, Eirené (2008) Concept Maps in Panamanian Classrooms: Searching for Photographs of Knowledge. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Third Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia, pp. 306-314. ISBN 978-9985-58-584-9

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Concept Maps (Cmaps) were first conceived as a tool to represent and organize knowledge (Novak, 1984). Currently, this premise has been expanded due to the versatility of this tool, because Cmaps also provide for the construction of new knowledge at the individual level and in collaboration processes. It could be thought that Cmaps allow us to manage knowledge. Achieving that a Cmap reflects the knowledge of its builder is a task that requires time and dedication. This paper emphasizes strategies that, according to the experience gained in the classroom, could speed up the process of learning how to use the tool. By having greater skill in the use of the tool, it could be much easier to portrait the individual or collective knowledge in a Cmap. This paper presents the experience carried out in Panamá with three classrooms of 4TH graders in José María Torrijos elementary school; they were aided by their teachers and a group of facilitators from Conéctate al Conocimiento. The learners’ training was carried out taking into consideration the necessity of using concept maps to “photograph” the different phases of a learning process, specifically for a Scientific Inquiry Project. The “photographs” of the process, as well as the results from the application of Cmaps are showcased in this paper. All this effort takes place in the search for the unification of two important proposals regarding educational matters in Panamá: Concept Maps and Scientific Inquiry Projects at the elementary school level. In Panamá, the concept map tool is being implemented massively in elementary schools through Conéctate al Conocimiento project, which is an initiative put forward by the Presidency Secretariat for Government Innovation (Tarté, 2006). At the same time, a science inquiry project named “Hagamos Ciencias” is being implemented, which belongs to the educational project area of another government entity, the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation. The present effort is concentrated in polishing the model and its application, as well as the way in which results are generated and processed. It is hoped that this model will be applicable and useful to others.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2008
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2014 11:38
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2014 11:38

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