Master of Science in Education
Department or Program
Concept mapping is both teaching and learning strategy that involves the use of graphics and text to enhance science vocabulary development and reading comprehension. It is a type of graphic organizer that structures information in hierarchical order, connected by links. This study is a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of concept maps on science learning among middle school students. Little research has focused on concept mapping at the middle school level with no systematic review of concept maps in the middle school setting for students with and without learning disabilities (LD). A systematic search located 1080 studies about concept maps published in English and in peer-reviewed journals between 1990 and 2018. Eight studies published between 2000 and 2017 met the inclusion criteria in this review. These studies provided some evidence that concept maps can be an effective tool to improve the performance of middle school students in general education science classrooms. Seven studies included low-achieving students without providing information whether students with LD were included. However, only one single-subject design study focused on students with LD and none with evidence-based practices. More empirical studies on the effectiveness of concept maps are needed to advance our knowledge about research-based practices for middle school students with and without LD.