Taking Concept Mapping (CM) forward with socially mediated structured approaches
AbstractThere is substantial research evidence (e.g. Nygaard and Holtham, 2008, 2009) to indicate that studentsÃ¢â¬â¢ active engagement in co-constructing knowledge, and taking responsibility for their own learning, is key to their achievement and development. This chapter will explore Concept Mapping (CM) not only as one means of gathering research data but also Ã¢â¬â and most importantly Ã¢â¬â as a powerful technique to support reflection and offer space for internal dialogue about each studentÃ¢â¬â¢s personal development.
Concept maps were gathered from a sample of students on a postgraduate business programme. In addition to the data from the concept maps themselves, semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with part of the sample to follow-up and illuminate the CM process, as they seemed to deepen the reflective capacity of those students through more structured and socially-mediated activity.
Findings from this research indicate that CM introduced within a socially supported and structured process can enable the shift from teacher reliance to student autonomy. It is also suggested that students do need structured and scaffolded activities in the area of Personal Development Planning (PDP), especially in reflective tasks, as they are often not sure how to approach this area of learning.
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