Along with knowledge of the needs of adult learners, people facilitating adult learning need a repertoire of teaching methods to be effective (Galbraith, 2004). Concept mapping is a technique that encourages students to learn in a meaningful way and retain knowledge. The use of concept maps has spread since it was first described in the 1960s and later documented by Novak and Gowin (1984). The technique is being used in adult education as well as other fields, including psychology, sociology, pharmacy, nursing, and medicine (Daley, 2001, 2002; Hill, 2004). Concept maps are being used for instruction and learning in settings ranging from K-12 schools to higher education and are employed as (a) an instructional strategy for improving comprehension and retention of knowledge, encouraging cooperative and collaborative learning, and fostering problem-solving, critical thinking, and transformative learning: (b) an organizational tool for facilitating curriculum and program development; and (c) a management tool for evaluation and assessment (Expand use of, 2002). Concept mapping has been used to collect and analyze data in research regarding teaching and learning (Daley, 2001; Donald, 2002). Concept mapping is an active learning process that involves students in meaningful learning because it engages complex cognitive structures within the brain. Meaningful learning refers to the acquisition of new information by an individual and its interrelationship with existing relevant knowledge mental structures (Novak, 1998, 2003; Trepagnier, 2002). The learning tends to be long lasting because the new knowledge is related to and integrated within a person's knowledge structure (Novak, 1998). Cognitive learning theory suggests that the brain learns most effectively by relating new experiences and knowledge to prior knowledge, and that meaningful learning requires deliberate effort to link new knowledge with higher-order, more inclusive concepts in a person's cognitive structure (Ausubel, Novak, & Hanesian, 1986; Heit, 1997; Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007; Novak, 1998). Constructivist learning theory relates learning to how adults construct meaning to make sense of their experiences (Merriam, Caffarella, & Banmgartner, 2007). Since adults have a greater accumulation of experiences than children (Knowles, 1980), concept mapping is a learning tool well suited to adulthood. According to Daley (2002), an adult learner progressively differentiates concepts into more and more complex understandings and also reconciles abstract understanding with concepts garnered from previous experience (p. 21). [FIGURE 1 OMITTED] [FIGURE 2 OMITTED] While conceptual mapping has dearly demonstrated its utility in helping students learn in the natural sciences, creating concept maps is especially useful in learning abstract, conceptual topics in which there are multiple ways to interpret abstract relationships between concepts (Trepagnier, 2002). Concept mapping enables students to diagram their understanding of key ideas and demonstrate their perception of relationships among them (Novak, 1998; Novak & Gowin, 1984). In linking concept mapping with transformational learning, Deshler (1990) writes that opportunities for concept mapping can help adult learners articulate their current knowledge, critique it, and view how their meanings and values have changed over time. This may involve both critical and transformational learning (Deshler, 1990, Brooldield, 2004). Constructing a Concept Map A concept map is a schematic tool that allows adult students to graphically represent their knowledge. A concept map consists of an overarching, inclusive main concept with connections to several general concepts that relate to the main concept and are more specific and less general (See Figure 1). These branch off into several more specific concepts, and this branching process may occur several times. …

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