Title: Hierarchical Concept Mapping: Young Children Learning How To Learn (A Viable Heuristic for the Primary Grades). Center of Excellence, Basic Skills for the Disadvantaged, Reading/Writing Component Report No. 5.
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Hierarchical Concept Mapping: Young Children Learning How To Learn (A Viable Heuristic for the Primary Grades). Center of Excellence, Basic Skills for the Disadvantaged, Reading/Writing Component Report No. 5.
A study introduced elementary school students to concept maps--visual representations of a learner's thought processes. Nine teachers with two classes each (kindergarten through fourth grades represented) were taught the terminology of the concept map and were asked to initiate a number of activities in generating concept maps with their children. The children's concept maps provided excellent opportunities for further direct instruction, were developmental, and appeared to be a viable heuristic even for young learners. Teachers reported better test scores, improved understanding of conceptual relations and patterns, and more cooperative class discussions--especially in the peer group mapping events. Children's concept maps became increasingly detailed and complex across grade levels. Second graders seemed to appreciate most fully the need for lists prior to mapping. Both second and third graders initiated concept mapping with the stories and nonfiction writing in which they were engaged, while fourth graders seemed less interested in the experiment though the maps seemed to help their general learning. Concept mapping better prepared the teachers to organize and present their subject matter and to see tangible improvement in children's learning and sharing of ideas in the classroom. (Samples of children's maps are included.) (JD)