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ERIC Number: EJ853653
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1536-7509
Approaches to Cell Biology Teaching: Mapping the Journey--Concept Maps as Signposts of Developing Knowledge Structures
Allen, Deborah; Tanner, Kimberly
Cell Biology Education, v2 n3 p133-136 Fall 2003
An instructor contemplating a course transformation to incorporate a student-centered learning environment may feel faced with what seems like a high-wire balancing act--a constantly renegotiated compromise between students' legitimate needs for structure, well-understood expectations, and good grades and instructors' foreknowledge that the path to intellectual maturity is "in the doing," particularly if the "doing" presents a reasonable challenge. One of the authors was beginning to lose her balance on the high wire of active learning when she was fortunate to have the opportunity to represent her institution's fledgling problem-based learning (PBL) program at a National Science Foundation-sponsored conference on inquiry approaches to science teaching held at Hampshire College. Her dilemma stemmed in part from the necessity to use the PBL method in one section of a multisectioned, introductory biology course with a common syllabus. Was there room for students to value forging their own path through the content-laden atmosphere of a good PBL problem, or would the specter of the "prescribed sequence of topics" outlined in the common syllabus undercut the value of all but the most direct path? In this article, she shares how she discovered the wonders of concept mapping as an answer to the instructional dilemmas she faced. She discusses the fundamentals of concept mapping and the lessons she learned from using it. (Contains 1 figure.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A