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The Active Use of Concept Mapping to Promote Meaningful Learning in Biological Science.

Kinchin, Ian M. (2000) The Active Use of Concept Mapping to Promote Meaningful Learning in Biological Science. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The focus of this work is the use of student concept mapping to promote meaningful learning in the classroom. All the studies reported were done in secondary schools and an undergraduate science course. All results and their discussion are presented within a human constructivist framework. The central question on which the research is based can be given as: How can concept mapping be used to contribute to understanding? This thesis is presented as a process of enquiry. Thus questions addressed by particular methodologies and approaches are later superseded with new questions and methods. This is consistent with a grounded approach and is part of an authentic constructivist research process. The main findings can be summarised as: 1. Quantitative methods of concept map analysis are inappropriate for promoting meaningful learning among secondary science teachers and their students. It is too time-consuming, fails to recognise the individualised nature of learning and emphasises curriculum-centred notions of ‘correctness’ - a stance at odds with the constructivist viewpoint. 2. A qualitative approach to concept map analysis has been developed in this thesis. It is shown to emphasise a contextual understanding of students’ and teachers’ conceptual ecologies in which development may indicate learning (through conceptual change) or switching (through contextual appreciation). 3. Finally, this work offers arguments against a rigid and didactic prescription of the curriculum that fails to respect the students’ perspective. A teacher-student dialogue to promote meaningful learning is likely to occur only when teachers question their own beliefs and approaches to teaching and learning. Constructivist classroom approaches can be mediated by concept mapping to emphasise the exploration and sharing of meaning rather than absolute correctness. Such approaches are likely to have an impact upon teaching quality and should be a key part of initial teacher-training and continued professional development.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Kinchin, Ian M.
Date : 2000
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2000.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 12:07
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 12:13
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/855741

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