Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Logan Renee Caldwell

Data is provided by the student.


Utilizing Joseph Novaks instructional strategy of concept mapping with Meaningful Learning Theory has been widely accepted by researchers because it is a tool that can systematically depict the learners previous knowledge while exposing misconceptions; however, research has found that novice teachers do not have specific instructional strategies intended for targeting student preconceptions and misconceptions, and, when asked to construct concept maps, the majority of elementary preservice teachers possess inadequate skills to do so. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to describe the experiences and perceptions of concept mapping utilization during instruction with undergraduate, elementary preservice teachers at a four-year public university in the Mid-South region of the United States to reveal insights on these gaps in knowledge. Non-probability, convenience, and homogeneous sampling techniques were utilized. Participants participated in one-to-one interviews and a focus group interview. The research questions for this study are:Research Question 1. What are elementary education preservice teachers experiences with concept mapping? Research Question 2. What are elementary education preservice teachers perceptions of concept mapping in classroom instruction?The findings from this study determined that preservice teachers can describe the purpose of and find educational value in concept mapping that align with the theoretical framework of this study and concept mapping. However, preservice teachers lack of exposure and explicit teaching of this tool impacted self-efficacy of current and future implementation of this tool. Providing more purposeful learning experiences and explicit instruction on how to implement concept maps in elementary school could potentially raise self-efficacy and overcome the perceived barriers of implementation.