Academic journal article College Student Journal

Mind Maps as Facilitative Tools in Science Education

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Mind Maps as Facilitative Tools in Science Education

Article excerpt

This study explored the perceptions, attitudes, and willingness of pre-service science teachers in the College of Education at Kuwait University about using concept/mind maps and its related application software as facilitative tools, for teaching and learning, in science education. The first level (i.e., reaction) of Kirkpatrick's/Phillips' classic 5-level evaluation research model was exploited to assess and validate the reaction-based satisfaction level of pre-service science teachers. Although the findings disclose that 74.2 percent of participants asserted being aware about concept/mind maps beforehand. However, the vast majority, 96.8 percent, affirmed that they are not aware about concept/mind mapping application software. The results indicate that all participants were highly satisfied with utilizing concept/mind mapping and its related applications in education, accordingly, their reaction-based satisfaction level was extremely positive and significantly high among all subgroups. The participants favored utilizing such tools for constructing their concept/mind maps over hand-drawing or regular desktop productivity applications. Also, all participants do consider that concept/mind maps and its related application software as being appropriate, valuable, and useful facilitative and enhancement tools in education. They also do believe that these tools are important constituents for promoting thrive and success in science education.

Keywords: Concept/Mind Maps, Concept/Mind Mapping Software, ICT Tools, Science Education


Technology has become both fundamental and essential part of life today, that it is near impossible to imagine modem life without being connected to the online world somehow using information and communication technology (ICT) tools. In almost every nation, people think, learn, work, entertain, and interact differently because of ICT's influence. ICT has become a vital aspect of our world in various domains, including education. However, the results of numerous research papers over the past few decades illustrate that with the right hardware and software, ICT has the ability to enhance students' education and learning across all disciplines and grade levels, and thus, affecting the world around them. The results of these studies depict ICT's immense potential to better students' scores in standardized tests, as well as increase students' motivations towards learning and enhance their school activities (Boon, Fore, & Rasheed, 2007).

Concept/mind mapping software is among these applications that have been recognized broadly to be very effective ICT tool in education for learners of all ages and in all subject areas, including science education (Karakuyu, 2011; Novak & Canas, 2008; Vanides, Yin, Tomita, & Ruiz-Primo, 2005; Markham, Mintzes, & Jones, 1994). These tools create images (e.g., maps, diagrams, graphs, outlines, plots, and illustrations) of information, allowing the mind to pick up on unseen patterns and relationships across different concepts. The visual representations can be made simple or detailed, linear, branched, radiating, or cross-linked (Novak & Canas, 2008). These graphical displays often referred to, currently, as concept maps, mind maps, and knowledge maps. However, the diagrams also occasionally, nowadays, referred to as graphic organizers, cognitive organizers, concept development organizers, compare contrast organizers, advanced organizers, relational organizers, sequence organizers, classification organizers, story maps, topic maps, and concept diagrams (Strangman, Hall, & Meyer, 2003).

Concept/mind mapping software can be utilized to deliver a distinctive visual display of how learners generate, categorize, arrange, associate, and synthesize information in order to construct on their existing knowledge (Vanides et al., 2005). It also heightens motivation and inspires critical thinking and visual learning, as well as promotes innovation and creativity. …

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