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EPSY 335 Learning Theories. ORGANIC CHEMISTRY CONCEPT MAP PROJECT. Karen Parks, Haibei Zhang, Huong Hoang -Fall 2001-. Introduction. The lesson: is part of a unit in 10 th grade Advanced Biology, entitled: “The Cycling of Energy and Matter through the Earth’s Ecosystem”

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karen parks haibei zhang huong hoang fall 2001

EPSY 335 Learning Theories




Karen Parks, Haibei Zhang, Huong Hoang

-Fall 2001-


The lesson:

  • is part of a unit in 10th grade Advanced Biology, entitled: “The Cycling of Energy and Matter through the Earth’s Ecosystem”
  • is half way through this multiple-lesson unit

Objectives of the lesson:

  • help students understand the structural and functional relationships between and among organic chemicals
  • provide a foundation for understanding the cycling of matter and energy between the soil, atmosphere and living organisms in the ecosystem

Difficulties encountered by the students

  • Misconception
  • Confusion
  • Difficult to remember

Learning Theories:

  • David Ausubel’s Cognitive Psychology(basis of Concept Map)
  • Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory
ausubel s cognitive psychology
Ausubel's cognitive psychology
  • Meaningfulness
      • Students need to employ meaningful learning rather than rote learning (memorization) to promote higher order thinking and retention of knowledge.
  • Assimilation
      • Learning takes place by the assimilation of new concepts and propositions into existing concept propositional frameworks held by the learner.
  • Advance Organizers can be used
cognitive structure
Cognitive Structure
  • Cognitive structure is hierarchically organized
  • Concepts in cognitive structure undergo progressive differentiation,
  • Integrative reconciliation occurs when two or more concepts are recognized as relatable
concept mapping
Concept Mapping
  • A powerful tool for organizing and representing knowledge
research findings
Research Findings
  • Consistent correlations between quality of concept map and student achievement
  • Concept maps could be used to distinguish experts from novices within a domain
          • Ruiz-Primo and Shavelson (1996)
  • Concept map enhances student achievements in:
    • Multiple-choice measure of misconceptions
    • Fill-in-blank concept map instrument
    • General measure of concept relatedness
          • Zeilik et al. (1997)
  • Combining concept map with lecture resulted in significantly better learning and retention
          • Cliburn(1990)
vygotsky s sociocultural theory
Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory
  • Social environment is critical for learning
  • Social environment influences cognition through cultural tools
  • Zone of Proximal Development
  • Learners also bring their own understandings to social interactions
  • The use of instructional scaffolding
lesson plan applying ausubel s cognitive psychology concept mapping
Lesson PlanApplying Ausubel’s Cognitive Psychology/Concept Mapping

Concept maps will:

  • mirror the way ideas and knowledge are organized in the learner’s cognitive structures
  • Be useful for reviewing knowledge and allow students to assess prior knowledge
  • uncover misconceptions
  • help students to organize knowledge and focus on important concepts
  • The visual map helps students remember the lesson better
lesson plan applying vygotsky s sociocultural theory cooperative grouping
Lesson Plan:Applying Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory/Cooperative Grouping
  • Requiring students to work together in cooperative groups so that:
    • Social interaction brings about higher motivation
    • Some group members will be in the ZPD, and others will provide support to advance their learning
    • Cognitive incongruity requires the group members to develop a common understanding by correcting misconceptions
    • Through rich dialog, learners process information using more elaboration and establish more propositions in their cognitive structures, increasing the depth of understanding and retention of knowledge
    • Dialog between students and construction of maps provides the teacher with a clear visual model of students’ cognitive structures.
integration of technology
Integration of Technology
  • A number of software has been develop to build concept maps
  • Inspiration is one of them
  • It is possible to use Inspiration for Karen’s lesson
  • An example of concept map produced by Inspiration
advantages of technology
Advantages of Technology
  • Easy to use
  • Possible to draw the map quickly
  • Easy to modify the map
  • Possible to produce beautiful and clear maps
disadvantages of technology
Disadvantages of Technology
  • Expensive method (requires computers and may be printers for large size papers)
  • Less individual involvement than the manual method as not much work is required -> sometimes less exciting
critique ausubel concept mapping
CritiqueAusubel/Concept Mapping
  • Not all knowledge can be arranged in a hierarchical order
  • Extensive training is required
  • It does not work well for direct teaching or recall of rote learning
  • Time consuming
  • Some students are uncomfortable with it
  • It can only be combined with Constructivist methods
critique vygotsky cooperative grouping
CritiqueVygotsky/Cooperative Grouping
  • Must be designed to give each individual in the group a responsibility for accountability.
  • Requires training of students in cooperative behaviors and responsibilities.
  • Requires continuous monitoring and feedback from the teacher.
  • It can promote misconception without monitoring
  • Time consuming
  • Ivie, Stanley D. “Ausubel’s Learning Theory: An Approach to Teaching Higher Order Thinking Skills,” High School Journal. Oct. 1998: Vol. 82,, i1, p.35.
  • Novak, Joseph P. and Gowan, D. Bob. Learning How to Learn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984.
  • Romance, Nancy R. and Vitale, Michael R. “Concept Mapping as a Tool for Learning,” College Teaching. Spring, 1999: Vol.47, i2, p74.
  • Sandoval, Jonathan. “Teaching in Subject Matter Areas: Science,” Annual Review of Psychology. 1995: Vol.46, p355.
  • Schunk, Dale H. Learning Theories, and educational Perspective, 3rd Ed., Prentice Hall, 1996.
  • http://cmap.coginst.uwf.edu/info/
  • http://www.utc.edu/Teaching-Resource-Center/concepts.html
  • http://users.edte.utwente.nl/lanzing/cm_home.htm
  • http://www2.ucsc.edu/mlrg/proc3abstracts.html#Ahlberg-MeaningfulLearnin
  • http://www-personal.umich.edu/~cberger/compmapanalysis.htm
  • http://www.chemistry.ohio-state.edu/~mathews/Ohio_Project/reports/PDF_files/SLBretz.PDF
  • http://www.dean.usma.edu/math/activities/cape/assessment/concept_mapping.htm
  • http://www.aals.org/profdev/newideas/athomas.html
  • http://www.spjc.edu/SPG/Science/Lancraft/cmapping/cmapping.html#A1
  • http://ericit.org/digests/mapping.shtml