As a follow up to my post on the middle school character cluster assignment, I thought I would share a cheat sheet for parents who might be faced with trying to understand the latest graphic organizer (aka concept map) that their children bring home from school
|So many choices|
Graphic organizers (some of which are also called concept maps, entity relationship charts, and mind maps) are a pictorial way of constructing knowledge and organizing information. They help the student convert and compress a lot of seemingly disjointed information into a structured, simple-to-read, graphic display. The resulting visual display conveys complex information in a simple-to-understand manner.
Or so they say. Keep in mind that research tells us that taking a test is superior to using a graphic organizer / concept map for retaining information. Still, educators continue to use these graphic tools.
[Concept mapping] — having students draw detailed diagrams documenting what they are learning — is prized by many teachers because it forces students to make connections among facts.
These other methods not only are popular, the researchers reported; they also seem to give students the illusion that they know material better than they do.