Academic journal article Focus on Learning Problems in Mathematics

Is There a Role for Concept Mapping in Mathematics? an Introduction to This Special Issue

Academic journal article Focus on Learning Problems in Mathematics

Is There a Role for Concept Mapping in Mathematics? an Introduction to This Special Issue

Article excerpt

Contributors to this issue were, together with the editor, all participants in the first International Conference on Concept Mapping held in Pamplona, Spain, in September 2003. As a group of mathematics educators, we met and questioned why comparatively little use of concept mapping has apparently been made in mathematics, especially in light of the current emphasis on conceptual understanding. It was out of these discussions that this issue evolved. Contributions elucidate in the following pages a variety of aspects and uses of concept mapping, including its genesis in Ausubelian learning theory, its historical development and future projections, and classroom and research applications.

In the lead article, Joseph D. Novak, the developer of concept mapping, provides both a retrospective and prospective view of concept mapping, with special application to mathematics education. Novak, together with D. Bob Gowin, is the author of Learning How to Learn (1984), which deals with both the metacognitive tool of concept mapping and the epistemological Vee heuristic. Now published in eight languages, the book has been a guide for teachers and researchers intent on improving learning across a range of fields.

Maria S. Ramirez de M., Mario Aspee S., and Irma Sanabria address with clarity and in considerable detail the construction and uses of concept maps. In a very thorough treatment of these topics, they illustrate, in a way that mathematics educators will find eminently adaptable to their own field, the use of concept mapping in physics classes where mathematics concepts have a central role.

Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata'i presents detailed case studies of undergraduates' progress in the use of concept mapping and Vee diagramming to analyze problems and develop an understanding of matrices and their role in the solution of systems of equations. …

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