Practice Strand – Tony Lelliott on Using Personal Meaning Mapping

Practice stream presenterto gather data on school visits to science centres. Anthony Lelliott from Johannesburg.
Looking at Visitor learning by doing a variation on the pre-test post-test method.
RQs – How much do they learn
What are their individual experiences
How do their prior knowledge and interests affect their experiences of visit.
Collected a variety of data, but he’s concentrating on Students’ personal meaning maps. You give students a phrase prompt “Space, Stars and Planets”. The kids then used paper and ink (colour 1) to write their ideas. Then interviewed them and researcher wrote on concept map in diff coloured ink. Give map back to student and they can make changes, in ink colour 3. Then research uses colour 4 to make post- visit comments. No correct map to compare to Students’ versions.
He’s talking about the specifics now and it is very interesting how this method involves the students in the research process. The example demonstrated that with the student who, according to interview, learned very little, this mapping approach demonstrated that in fact she had learned more than was obvious. This method uncovers instances of learning that you would not normally be able to detect.
PMM (personal meaning maps) could enable teachers to tailor their teaching to needs of students.
Research issues – often insufficient time to analyse PMM before interviewing them.
He raised the issue that the moment you ask somebody to do something, you are introducing an element of
Agnes Question – what sort of comments was Tony putting on the concept map
Tony Answer – a prompt to himself to remind what they’d said during interview. Short notes about their answers.
Jocelyn – Did they see you as a teacher?
Tony – Yes. Issue with entire thesis. Became an “intervention”.
I thought this was an extremely interesting presentation as it really involved the students in the research process. Over the course of the day, this aspect of participant involvement seemed to come to the fore. Particularly regarding informal learners


About Gill

Having worked as a Research Fellow with the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University, I have now semi-retired but retained my association with the OU as an Honorary Associate.
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