Concept Mapping

Concept mapping a learning process in which diagrams are used to demonstrate relationships between ideas. A concept map is a graphical tool that both teachers and students can use to demonstrate their knowledge or understanding of a given topic or subject. Researchers use concept maps to develop their research idea and demonstrate relationships between variables. Concept maps can be used in groups to develop models and enhance understanding of complex structures or subjects.

The Importance of Concept Mapping To Teaching and Learning

Concepts maps offer various benefits to learners and teachers when integrated in the learning process. They offer an opportunity to students to generate and communicate new ideas on a subject matter. Students propose relations among new concepts generated in class and this enhances the learning process. Concept mapping helps teachers enhance understanding of complex subjects by demonstrating how different concepts are interconnected. The concept maps that students develop help teachers estimate their level of understanding of the subject matter taught in class. Teachers can identify the areas of learning that require more attention or further study from the students’ contributions to a concept map.

Concept maps help teachers identify and correct misconceptions. Concept mapping enhances the students’ communication skills. Concept maps represent a student’s thought pattern and understanding of a subject. Students identify wrong concepts and relate new concepts to old concepts. Students can identify difficult or complex concepts and seek help from their teachers on such concepts. Concept mapping is a powerful tool of enhancing the students’ problem-solving skills. It teaches students to brainstorm and consider various solutions to a problem and identify the most viable solution.

Creating concepts maps

The process of creating a concept maps starts by identifying the main topic or concept. The students or teacher can then brainstorm and write down all the concepts related to the main topic. It is important to write down all ideas in words or brief phrases including those that one may consider least important to the topic. The next step is to rearrange all the ideas into subgroups and categorize them according to their importance to the main topic. New concepts can be introduced into the subgroups. Develop a layout that demonstrates relationships among the subgroups and items in subgroups. Place the most important subgroups in the middle or at the top to create a hierarchical structure. Finalize the interrelationships and use arrows to indicate a relationship between two items. Brief descriptions below the arrows are useful in specifying the nature of relationships between concepts.

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