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Using Concept Mapping to Foster Adaptive Expertise

Enhancing Teacher Metacognitive Learning to Improve Student Academic Performance


Diane Salmon and Melissa Kelly

Concept mapping is a powerful means to promote metacognitive learning in students and teachers alike. When teachers integrate concept mapping into their instructional planning, they clarify the big ideas, expose new conceptual relationships, and refine learning goals for their students. Salmon and Kelly provide a research-based framework and corresponding strategies to help teachers develop, critique, and revise their concept maps. In using this approach, teachers refine knowledge for teaching in order to expand their adaptive expertise and ultimately improve the academic performances of their students. Teacher candidates at both the undergraduate and graduate level can use this book to support their professional learning and planning for teaching. Teacher educators will find this text appropriate for courses that address learning, cognition, and instructional planning. In-service professionals can use the approach described here to support their own professional development through their practice. Administrators and coaches will find the volume a useful tool in fostering a professional learning community in their schools.


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Part I. Theoretical and Empirical Basis forTeacher Concept Mapping


theoretical and empirical basis for teacher concept mapping Designing for learning is a blend of art and science that entails disciplined improvisation from thoughtful instructional planning (Hammerness, Darling- Hammond, & Bransford, 2005; Sawyer, 2004). What does this principle really mean in practice? How can teachers engage in systematic work within a disci- pline and improvise at the same time? One way to explore this paradoxical ten- sion is through the qualities of adaptive expertise. To improvise in a disciplined way is the essence of adaptive expertise. Adaptive experts adopt a learning ori- entation to their work to continually learn from what they do and then use that learning to improve their practice. Adaptive teachers intentionally investigate the adequacy of their own knowledge for teaching particular subject areas and seek new ways to extend their knowledge bases for teaching. The instructional planning context is particularly apt for nurturing think- ing associated with adaptive expertise in teaching. While establishing rou- tines for planning and teaching, adaptive teachers would adapt these practices to the complex, dynamic demands of the classroom environment, analyze ev- idence of their impact, and incorporate this learning into their subsequent planning. Adaptive teachers would guard against complacency in using estab- lished routines by stopping to question their purpose and value. In essence, adaptive teaching would entail a metacognitive approach to teaching that 4 using concept mapping to foster adaptive expertise enables self-directed learning. This metacognitive approach involves making the thinking processes required in instructional planning visible for critique. While lesson...

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