Although Samantha is a language teacher, she wants her students to think logically besides achieving grammatical literacy to the expected standard. Somewhat different from other language teachers, Samantha asks students to think about all related elements associates with a theme in narrative writing, drawing from their prior experiences and knowledge.
Students then need to elaborate the inter-relationships between the elements (if any) in a graphical manner. Only after peer/group consensus in correctness of the ideas has been built, can students can start to write up the content according to the graphical illustration.
Peter is a student who always performs badly in History tests, and in today lesson he said that he has problems dealing with causal relationship concerning the imprisonment of Louis XIV’s financial minister (Fouquet). As a teacher, what strategies will you use to help Peter to organize these concepts?
A Passage from the History textbook:
A witness recalled the historical events of Louis XIV
“In 1661, the King Louis XIV decided to govern the country by dictatorship and he dismissed his financial minister. The prime minister called “le cardinal de Mazarin” had died in the previous month.
I recalled the history well. In this era, I was working in the service of the king. In August, a month before the King’s decision, Fouquet, the financial minister, invited the Court to a grand feast in the castle. We helped with the magnificent show organized by Moliere and the musician Lully. The king noticed Fouquet was richer than him. On that day, he believed that his financial minister might have stolen the money of his Royal family. After a few months, he decided to imprison Fouquet.” (Adapted from Echo, CLE international Press)
Sample of a concept map:
A concept map is:
Concept maps reveal the structural pattern in the material and provide the big picture, including
In addition, concepts are presented in hierarchical manner, the most general concepts on top
The use of concept mapping is often linked to the ‘constructivist’ view of learning, and often makes a good starting-point for constructivist teaching.
Plotnick (1997) listed five purposes of concept mapping to enhance meaningful learning:
The fundamental idea in Ausubel’s cognitive psychology was influenced by Jean Piaget.
Ausubel (1960) suggested that Advance Organizers might facilitate meaningful learning and retention of new incoming information by instructor who
While Advance organizers are used in good "transmissive" teaching, e.g. direct instruction, such teaching is different from simple rote learning, since learners are encouraged to relate new knowledge to what they already know.
Ausubel distinguished between two kinds of advance organizer who provide the necessary scaffolding for students:
Novak's work is based on the cognitive theories of David Ausubel, who stressed the importance of prior knowledge in being able to learn new concepts.
“Meaningful learning underlies the constructive integration of thinking, feeling, and acting leading to empowerment for commitment and responsibility”(Novak, 1998 , p. 15)
Novak and Cañas (2006) also made the point that cognitive maps can favor integration of concepts and reduce misconceptions and cognitive load. They then outlined a few recommendations for instructional designs in which concept maps are used: