Concept Maps and the Systematization of Knowledge

Concept Maps and the Systematization of Knowledge

Patrícia Lupion Torres (Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPr), Brazil), Marcus Vinicius Santos Kucharski (Federal University of Technology – Paraná (UTFPr), Brazil) and Rita de Cássia Veiga Marriott (Federal University of Technology – Paraná (UTFPr), Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5816-5.ch019

Abstract

The act of doing research, reviewing recent literature, checking data, and articulating results and meanings are important but not enough when working with scientific publications in graduate schools. A vital part of the work is authoring an informative text that can be clear enough as to communicate findings of the study and, at the same time, reinforce chosen arguments. This chapter focuses on an experiment at a renowned Brazilian graduate school of education, which uses concept mapping and collective assessment of such maps as fundamental pre-writing stages to guide the authorship of well-thought, well-knit scientific/argumentative texts. Results indicate that the experiment was successful in making students negotiate meanings, clarify ideas and purposes, and write in an academically acceptable style. All this was conducted from a methodological standpoint that makes meaningful knowledge, collective construction, and the reflective, critical work of the author (from the first draft to the final collectively written version given), the foundations to perform a better job at communicating the processes and results of the investigative work.
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The Nature Of Meaningful Knowledge

The understanding of knowledge that underpins our proposal is the one put forward by Ausubel (1963), according to which it is meaningful knowledge that effectively contributes to the personal/social development of the individual. Broadly speaking, in this type of knowledge, new knowledge is incorporated via the assimilation of new concepts and, fundamentally, of new meaningful conceptual relations established with our previous knowledge repertoire. This incorporation – meaningful knowledge as such – happens by the mediation of language1, provided three basic conditions are met:

(1) The material to be learned must be conceptually clear and presented with language and example relatable to the learner’s prior knowledge. (2) The learner must possess relevant prior knowledge. (3) The learner must choose to learn meaningfully (Moreira, 2007, p. 2; Novak & Cañas, 2007, p. 30, italics from original).

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