The Influence of Mind Mapping on Eighth Graders’ Science Achievement

Issam Abi-El-Mona, Fouad Adb-El-Khalick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study assessed the influence of using mind maps as a learning tool on eighth graders’ science achievement, whether such influence was mediated by students’ prior scholastic achievement, and the relationship between students’ mind maps and their conceptual understandings. Sixty-two students enrolled in four intact sections of a grade 8 science classroom were randomly assigned to experimental and comparison conditions. Participants in the experimental group received training in, and constructed, mind maps throughout a science unit. Engagement with mind mapping was counterbalanced with involving the comparison group participants with note summarization to control for time on task as a confounding variable. Otherwise, the intervention was similar for both groups in all respects. A multiple choice test was used to measure student gains across two categories and three levels of achievement. Data analyses indicated that the experimental group participants achieved statistically significant and substantially higher gains than students in the comparison group. The gains were not mediated by participants’ prior scholastic achievement. Analyses also indicated that iconography was not as central to participants’ mind maps as often theorized. Depicting accurate links between central themes and major and minor concepts, and using colors to represent concepts were the major aspects that differentiated the mind maps built by students who achieved higher levels of conceptual understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-312
Number of pages15
JournalSchool Science and Mathematics
Volume108
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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