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Approaching multidimensional forms of knowledge through Personal Meaning Mapping in science integrating teaching outside the classroom

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Current research points to Personal Meaning Mapping (PMM) as a method useful in investigating students’ prior and current science knowledge. However, studies investigating PMM as a method for exploring specific knowledge dimensions are lacking. Ensuring that students are able to access specific knowledge dimensions is important, especially in science teaching outside the classroom, where “hands-on” approaches and experiments are often part of teaching and require procedural knowledge, among other things. Therefore, this study investigates PMM as a method for exploring specific knowledge dimensions in formal science education integrating teaching outside the classroom. We applied a case study design involving two schools and four sixth-grade classes. Data were collected from six students in each class who constructed personal meaning maps and were interviewed immediately after natural science and technology lessons in the classroom, and again after experiencing teaching outside the classroom. Maps and interviews were analysed drawing on Bloom’s revised taxonomy of educational objectives. Our findings show that PMM is highly useful for identifying and activating factual knowledge, conceptual knowledge and the subcategories of knowledge within these dimensions as well as metacognitive self-knowledge. However, as a method for identifying and activating procedural knowledge, it seems limited. Our analysis thus provides a novel understanding of the rigor of PMM for analysing students’ science knowledge, which is of relevance for educators and researchers within science education.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)737-750
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Education outside the classroom, Outdoor learning, Personal Meaning Mapping, Prior knowledge, Science education

ID: 52049327