Inspiration, concept mapping and inquiry : supporting higher order thinking for Year 7 and 8 students.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
This thesis discusses the effects of integrating concept mapping using the computer programme Inspiration into a cooperative inquiry unit. The research was undertaken as a case study, with four Year Seven and Eight students comprising the case study group. The proj ect examined how the students used concept mapping as part of the cooperative inquiry process. Higher order (metacognitive) leaming outcomes ofthis integration were analysed. Implications and recommendations for future teaching and leaming were also identified. Findings demonstrated that while concept mapping, the students used the concept map as a Mindtool. Critical thinking was stimulated through the negotiation and ongoing adjustment of information links and organisation in the evolving concept maps. One student demonstrated an aware level of metacognitive thinking during the concept mapping process. Three of the students demonstrated an aware level of as a result of questioning during post-unit interviews. The case study group performed as a cooperative leaming group throughout the inquiry. They demonstrated commitment to each other and to the group's success. It is probable that well developed cooperative skills had a positive impact on the cooperative concept mapping process and the role of the concept map as a Mindtool for the group. In this study the classroom teacher demonstrated trust in and had high expectations for the behaviour and learning of the students in the case study group. These students increasingly managed their own time and the necessary resources for completing the inquiry. They were often given choices about when and where to work and often worked unsupervised by the classroom teacher. The researcher refers to choice theory in suggesting effects of these contextual features on the behaviour and learning of the case study group were significant and warrant further investigation.