Concept Maps as Tools for Learning Scientific Language

Noah L. Schroeder (Washington State University, Pullman, USA) and Olusola O. Adesope (Washington State University, Pullman, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 72
EISBN13: 9781466617186|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0068-3.ch003
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Learning scientific language continues to be challenging for many students because of its inherent complexity, volume of specific terminology, and many fields of science which incorporate the same terminology for different applications. In order to more effectively learn and apply the language of science, the authors propose the use of concept mapping. Research on concept mapping suggests that it is more effective than traditional teaching methods in students’ knowledge retention and transfer when compared to control groups that did not use concept mapping, but rather participated in class discussions, attended lectures, and read text passages regardless of educational level, settings, or subject domain (Nesbit & Adesope, 2006). Based on this synthesis of research, teachers are encouraged to adopt concept mapping as a pedagogical strategy in their science classrooms as no detrimental findings have been found related to its use. By providing students with a concept map of the terms which explains how the terms are related to the overarching concept or allowing them to build their own, students can begin to develop a deeper understanding of the language of science.
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