Learning with Concept Maps: An Analysis of a Teaching Experience on the Topic of Reptiles with 15-year Old Students at a Secondary School

Lemos, Evelyse Dos Santos and Foundation, Oswaldo Cruz and Moreira, Marco Antonio (2008) Learning with Concept Maps: An Analysis of a Teaching Experience on the Topic of Reptiles with 15-year Old Students at a Secondary School. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Third Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia, pp. 477-484. ISBN 978-9985-58-585-6

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Based on the premise that concept map represent an important and relevant tool for the educational process for meaningful learning of scientific concepts, the purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze a specific educational experience involving classes on ‘reptiles’ for 7th graders (15 years old in average) at a secondary school. Due to the specificity of the educational area and to the various uses concept maps may have, we decided to use the term “map of concepts” to represent a particular type of concept map which is the one that deals only with scientific concepts and the relationship between them. The approach resorted to map of concepts as an aid for teaching the topic. The process consisted of three ninety-minute encounters each with the thirty-eight students of a previously chosen class, in November 2006. With the exception of the introduction of maps of concepts as an instrument for learning the material, the classes used their regular dynamics: an initial free debate, followed by reading of the textbook and a discussion, group activities and, finally, a written evaluation on the newly acquired data. The analysis of the information gathered – maps of concepts developed at the start, during the middle and at the end of the process, answers by the students to the questionnaire about their perceptions regarding the maps – was based on the Meaningful Learning Theory (Ausubel et al, 1978). The results revealed that the students enjoyed elaborating the maps of concepts and saw them as facilitators for learning. Nevertheless, the results also revealed that the short duration of the experience, albeit having contributed to a clear increase of the general vocabulary, was insufficient to stimulate the students into grasping and/or learning the meanings of the central concepts in the topic of reptiles. At the same time, it also failed to establish an overall comprehension of the hierarchical and relational logic of the maps of concepts. As mere suggestions underscoring that the basis for meaningful learning is its process, we recommend greater attention to the process of learning to build map of concepts. Their introduction into the dynamics of formal teaching should occur with themes already familiar to the students, after the teacher negotiates with the class the list of concepts that will make up the map.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2008, Concept Mapping in Biology
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2015 11:12
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2015 11:12

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