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Improved Concept Mapping

Improved concept mapping is applied and presented in the new research methods textbook:
Wheeldon, J. & Ahlberg, M. 2011 Visualizing Social Science Research: Maps, Methods, & Meaning. London: SAGE.
(ISBN: 9781412991049). (1) http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book235388
(2) http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Awheeldon%20ahlberg&page=1

I have developed an improved version of concept mapping (Åhlberg 1993 - 2002, Åhlberg & Ahoranta 2002). There are at least 10 features which are improved compared to original concept mapping:

Åhlberg, M. 2004. Varieties of concept mapping. Poster presented at The First International Conference on Concept Mapping, Public University of Navarra, Spain. September 14 17, 2004. Also published digitally: http://cmc.ihmc.us/papers/cmc2004-206.pdf
Download the distributed handout.

• Åhlberg, M. 2001. Concept mapping as a research method. This is from 2004 been in the fee-based area in the Methodix (a network environment for scientific and applied research, methods and their study), http://www.metodix.com/en/sisallys/index
• Åhlberg, M. 2002. Käsitekartat tutkimusmenetelmänä - internet-osoitteessa:

Novak and Gowin (1984) published a well-received book about concept maps. I read it in the same year and concluded that this kind of method is probably extremely useful for teachers and their pupils, for everybody who wants to learn meaningfully. I was in 1993 for three months as a visiting research professor in Cornell University (e.g. Åhlberg 1993). I learnt a lot of concept mapping and Vee heuristics. There were tens of Masters' theses and Doctoral Dissertations in which those tools were used as main methods to collect and analyze data. In Åhlberg (1993) I already justified and presented my own improved versions of both concept mapping and Vee heuristics (Improved Vee Heuristics). Tens of Masters' Theses have after that published in which improved concept maps are used. Students from other universities have come to meet me and discuss about their use of concept maps. One of my former doctoral students, Markku Kankkunen (1999) has made a doctoral dissertation of his eight years use of improved concept mapping with his pupils. Improved concept maps from four years were actual data included in the dissertation.

Novak (1998) published a new book named Learning, creating and using knowledge. Concept Maps ™ as facilitative tools in schools and corporations. There are many good ideas why concept mapping is good also for business organizations. I have translated it with my R&D group (Åhlberg 2002). Some practical, but unfortunately only Finnish, examples of improved concept maps are in the following Internet addresses:




I have introduced two other new quality tools Improved Vee Heuristics and ARRA or Analysis of Reasoning, Rhetorics and Argumentation) to monitor and promote high quality learning, thinking and acting.


Åhlberg, M. 1993.d Concept maps, Vee diagrams and Rhetorical Argumentation (RA) Analysis: Three educational theory-based tools to facilitate meaningful learning. Paper presented at The Third International Seminar on Misconceptions in Science and Mathematics. August 1- 5, 1993. Cornell University. Published digitally in the Proceedings of the Seminar, http://www.mlrg.org/proc3abstracts.html (Read 26 2. 2003.)

Åhlberg, M. 1998a. Ecopedagogy and ecodidactics: Education for Sustainable Development, Good Environment and Good Life. University of Joensuu. Bulletins of the Faculty of Education. N:o 69.

Åhlberg, M. 1998b. Education for sustainability, good environment and good life. In Åhlberg, M. & Leal Filho, W. (Eds.) 1998. Environmental education for sustainability: good environment, good life. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 25 - 43.

Åhlberg, M. 2002. Translator's postscript: Twenty years research on theory of integrating education, improved concept maps and Vee heuristics in Finland [in Finnish]. In Novak, J. Tiedon oppiminen luominen ja käyttö [Finnish translation of Joseph D. Novak's (1998) Learning, creating and using knowledge]. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus, 300 - 315.

Åhlberg, M. & Ahoranta, V. 2002. Two improved educational theory based tools to monitor and promote quality of geographical education and learning. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education 11(2), 119 - 137, http://www.multilingual-matters.net/irgee/011/0119/irgee0110119.pdf

Kankkunen, M. 1999. Opittujen käsitteiden merkityksen ymmärtäminen sekä ajattelun rakenteiden analyysi käsitekarttamenetelmän avulla. PhD Dissertation. University of Joensuu. Publications in Education 54.

Novak, J. 1998. Learning, creating and using knowledge. Concept Maps ™ as facilitative tools in schools and corporations. London: Lawrence Erlabaum.

Novak; J. & Gowin, B. 1984. Learning how to learn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


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