Graphic Organisers: The Use of Mind Maps and Concept Maps for Indexing of Concepts in Science Education

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Sunita Kathuria

Abstract

Teaching is not limited to making the learners literate; it aims at helping them to become a creator by employing the creative mental faculties
such as perception, reason, will, memory, imagination and intuition. The teaching process involves input and output of lot of information which
depends on several variables. One of the variables is the learning style of the student. Research acknowledges that every student has a specific
or a combination of styles of learning. Like, some learns better while writing, some through listening, some through visuals, some through
activity and some learns better if they are taught by using combination of two or more of these styles. The objective of every teacher is ‘to
impart the knowledge in the best possible manner’ and for this, any unusual strategy used by the teacher to meet the diversified needs of the
students, can be termed as an Innovative strategy. Such innovative strategies in teaching not only level up the standard of education but also
empowers the future generation by strengthening their cognition. The present study aimed to explore the usefulness of concept maps in an
understanding of ideas in isolation and the use of Mind Maps in summarising all the ideas as a whole. This was an experimental research with
one sample, pre-post-test design. The researcher delivered three chapters of the Biology of IX grade through Concepts Maps and Mind Maps.
The sample was selected through purposive sampling technique and the intervention was given for 4 weeks in one of the government schools
of Delhi. The analysis revealed that the null hypothesis was rejected and the difference between the scores of pre and post-test was found to be
significant. Through the analysis of the Researcher’s Diary, used as tool to triangulate the quantitative findings, it was concluded that concept
maps and mind maps were found to be effective pedagogical tools to develop the concepts, comparing and contrasting, improve factual recall
and to have a deeper level of understanding through interlinking. It was revealed that the mapping was also found to be useful in identifying
the learning gaps, build a conceptual hierarchy, and facilitate new learning onto the previous one. The findings of this study were in consonance
with the viewpoint of other studies conducted on Graphic organizers. The study suggests the use of Graphic Organisers in the classrooms
across the curriculum and subjects as it is based on the technique in which the new information is matched, compared to, contrasted to, joined
with or modified to fit in with the previously attended information, thus, assists students to reach to the high levels of cognitive performance.

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Research Article