Concept Mapping vs Retrieval – What Works Better?
I came across an interesting article ( Reading Techniques Help Students Master Science) from Scientific American and study (What Works Clearinghouse) on the difference between reading science vs ELA texts and a technique that might help learners make better sense of the materials.
The article has several links to additional research about how students grapple with the differences in ELA vs science texts. This passage stands out to me as something to explore:
Research into techniques for mastering science text has evolved over a generation. Concept mapping was popular in the 1980s, for example. You might have made some yourself. They’re those charts with the main ideas all written inside circles. Lines connect the circles and labels identify the relationships between the circles. A photosynthesis concept map might have “plants” and “photosynthesis” in different circles, plus a line from the first to the second labeled “make food by.”
Since then researchers have found several strategies that seem to be even more effective than concept mapping. In one compelling study researchers at Purdue University tested four reading strategies on 80 college students. One fourth of the students were told to type everything they remembered from a passage they read about sea otters. Then they repeated the read-and-type cycle. A week later those students recalled the sea otter info better than any other group, including one that made concept maps, one that reread the passage four times and a group that read the passage once.