Roots of rigor
During the course of science education one of the recognizable and desirable changes from a novice to an expert is in their language (knowledge representation). One noticeable change is that of weeding out ambiguous expressions bringing in clarity and rigor. However, this happens not by weeding out the concept names but by choosing more and more accurate linking words (relation names). By focusing on the relation names we report the results of a preliminary study that confirms that subject experts increasingly chose relation names (linking words) that come closer to formal descriptions. The significance of this observation to concept mapping community as well as to cognitive development is immense, for it provides a simple and effective method to study conceptual change, validates the use of refined concept maps in place of the traditional technique in science education, and also further strengthens the approach that relationship between nodes determine the semantics, and not the nodes per se.
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