Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Concept Mapping

Joseph D. Novak, Cornell University has given a Concept Map which were developed in the course of research program where they sought to follow and understand changes in children¹s knowledge of science.

In his recent post on Knowledge at Work Denham Grey has given a very lucid description on concept building and its importance.

Some basic premises on conceptual understanding such as “What is a concept?

An abstraction?, cognitive building block, a container for idea(s)?, a symbol & representation?, a tool for indexing, learning, memory and navigation?, a fundamental language construct?, a reified cognitive artifact?, a category? Concepts can be any unit of thought or a mental image formed by generalization.

Any concept is more than its name, the links to related concepts define its meaning, every concept has a life-cycle. A concept is an abstract, universal psychical entity that serves to designate a category or class of entities, events or relations.

Why are concepts important?

Our beliefs, world views, creativity and communication ability, depend on the concepts we hold, how strongly we hold them and ways we can change them. Concepts are the building blocks for analytical and mental models. Making concepts explicit and visual helps promote learning, knowledge construction and assists with memory retention.
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