Concept Mapping

Our first assignment for EDUC 406 – Individual Learning: Theories and Applications involved creating a concept map for the core concepts introduced in the book Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge, by Gerald Edelman.

I had never done any concept mapping before so I turned to the internet to explore what downloadable programs were out there to assist us with our assignment.  Cmap Tools turned out to be a very user friendly tool where we were able to list the major concepts and then link them with connecting words.

This was a very difficult book to grasp and I found that this exercise helped me to deepen my understanding of his theories on brain-based epistemology.  Concept mapping is a good tool for helping students make sense of challenging material.

Here are a few things I learned about how to use concept maps effectively:

  • begin with a domain of knowledge
  • define a focus question that requires explanation
  • identify the key concepts
  • rank the concepts from most general to specific
  • construct a preliminary concept map
  • build a hierarchical organization
  • a concept map is never finished
  • revise the first draft
  • use good linking words to specify relationships between concepts
  • construct cross-links

 

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About Barb English

I am a curious soul and lifelong learner who is currently employed as a teacher in a Special Education classroom with the Calgary Board of Education.
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