Proceedings of The 3rd World Conference on Research in Education
Promoting Primary Students’ Science Understanding through an Integrative Pedagogy of Collaborative Mindmapping
Dennis Fung Chun Lok
The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effects of peer collaboration and graphic organisers (i.e. mind maps) in Hong Kong science classrooms. Over two hundred fourth-grade students were assigned to different pedagogical groups, namely, ‘individualised learning with mind mapping’, ‘collaborative learning without mind mapping’ and ‘collaborative mind mapping’, in which they learned elementary science concepts (e.g. living organisms). Through classroom activities such as brainstorming tasks and self-reflection exercises, the students learned science concepts and were evaluated by different instruments. Whilst the quantitative results on diagnostic questions revealed that collaborative mind mapping enhanced students’ academic performance, the qualitative data elicited from their collected mind maps, triangulated by interview data, highlighted the advantages of this integrative learning approach for strengthening students’ construction of conceptual knowledge in science. Further implications on the use of mind maps as diagnostic instruments to uncover science misconceptions are also discussed.
Keywords: collaborative mind mapping; conceptual knowledge; Hong Kong; learning achievement; science education.