Concept maps in middle school science

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


The focus question for this study was, How does the use of concept maps impact the learning of science content? Concept mapping is a strategy used by students to visually represent their learning and understanding through a detailed, hierarchical map. Early learners, such as middle school students, need a way to connect their prior knowledge with newly learned material. Ninety students participated in the study which included treatment and nontreatment subgroups. During treatment units, students were explicitly taught concept mapping to support science content. Pre and post unit tests, surveys, and interviews were processed via quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Results suggested that concept maps increased students' unit test scores, with an average normalized gain of .58 across all treatment groups. Survey questions showed mixed results, with increases and decreases for selected question groups. Concept maps were seen by students to be beneficial to learning science content.




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