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Concept Mapping Bolsters Critical Thinking Skills - 12.19.2014

Cases on Teaching Critical Thinking through Visual Representation Strategies
The contribution by COSEE-OS to the book "Cases on Teaching Critical Thinking through Visual Representation and Mind Mapping Strategies" stemmed from a series of Faculty-Graduate Student Collaborative Workshops on the “Use of Concept Mapping to Support Scientists’ Critical Thinking.” The evaluation data and insights from this series of workshops (which was a joint effort between several COSEE centers) was also published in Oceanography in 2013 in “Helping ocean scientists represent and communicate science.”

Funded by the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF), COSEE-Ocean Systems (OS) has employed concept mapping to facilitate collaboration and communication between ocean scientists and educators. Based on iterative feedback from and interaction with its participants, COSEE-OS has developed online concept mapping software linked to an ever-growing database with thousands of scientist-vetted resources, known as the Concept Linked Integrated Media Builder (CLIMB).

Concomitant with the evolution of its CLIMB software functionality, COSEE-OS has transitioned from exclusively holding in-person concept mapping workshops to predominantly preparing for and delivering concept map-based webinar events, featuring ocean science researchers. This transition to webinars has greatly increased the number of participants and expanded the geographic reach from local to global. This chapter focuses on three key areas in which COSEE-OS has supported critical thinking: (1) the collaborative process of making meaningful learning by creating, analyzing, and improving concept maps with others; (2) facilitating subject-matter experts in the formulation of concept map-based presentations, which audiences can use to evaluate the validity of their connections and conclusions; and (3) the training of scientists to use concept mapping as a technique to more clearly delineate and explain how their research is tied to societally relevant issues. Three case descriptions on how COSEE-OS concept mapping facilitation and infrastructure have been applied to ocean sciences education efforts - both within the COSEE Network and beyond to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) - are also presented.

To explore this and other chapters within the book, click here!

deCharon, A. 2014. Use of Concept Mapping to Support Scientists’ Critical Thinking in Cases on Teaching Critical Thinking through Visual Representation and Mind Mapping Strategies, L. Shedletsky and J. Beaudry, eds. 466-493. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5816-5.ch018.

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