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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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Chapter 3. Teacher Learning Trajectories

Concept Mapping to Enhance Instructional Planning


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Effective instructional planning requires a strong conceptual framework that integrates knowledge of content, students, and instruction. When teachers use concept mapping in their instructional planning, it provides them with metacognitive feedback to help them integrate these knowledge bases and refine their conceptual framework for teaching.

In chapter 1, we suggested that concept mapping can play an important role in promoting teachers’ adaptive expertise by facilitating their metacognitive learning during instructional planning. Now we begin to explain how, as shown in Figure 3.1, concept mapping can serve this metacognitive function. Our aim in this chapter is to show how concept mapping can help teachers make explicit their own conceptual framework for teaching within a domain and monitor their own conceptual growth through a metacognitive approach to instructional planning. We first show how this process might look through an example of a particular teacher’s metacognitive approach to planning. Then we show how concept mapping can engage teachers’ adaptive expertise by providing metacognitive feedback on their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). We also present an example from our work with teachers to show how teachers can use their concept maps to discern both strengths and limitations in their thinking ← 43 | 44 → and instruction. In this process, we take you through a teacher’s learning trajectory as she learns more about her own thinking through concept mapping and how it advanced her instructional planning.

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