A Proposal to Refine Concept Mapping for Effective Science Learning
Concept maps are found to be useful in eliciting knowledge, meaningful learning, evaluation of understanding and in studying the nature of changes taking place during cognitive development, particularly in the classroom. Several experts have claimed the effectiveness of this tool for learning science. We agree with the claim, but the effectiveness will improve only if we gradually introduce a certain amount of discipline in constructing the maps. The discipline is warranted, we argue, because science thrives to be an unambiguous and rigorously structured body of knowledge. Since learning science may be seen as a process where a novice is expected to be transformed into an expert, we use the context of learning science for making the proposal. Further, we identify certain anomalies in the evaluation of concept maps, and suggest that the evaluation should be based on semantics of the linking words (relation types) and not on graphical criteria alone.