Full text available online at: https://openresearch.surrey.ac.uk/esploro/outputs/doctoral/Concept-mapping-and-pedagogic-health-in-higher-education-a-rhizomatic-exploration-in-eight-plateaus/99545423202346
This submission presents a portfolio of 50 outputs (3 books, 7 book chapters and 40 journal articles) that were published between 2000 – 2020. This accompanying narrative offers a frame for these outputs to place them in the context of the wider literature and to highlight connections and developments in the underpinning thought processes. Here I exploit the Deleuzian figuration of the rhizome to present the portfolio to emphasise the non- linear nature of this body of work and provide a novel conceptual framework for analysis.
This corpus emerged from my initial exploration of Novakian concept mapping as a tool to support and document learning. From my early studies that built on the dominant discourse of the field, I examined concept mapping as a study aid. From this my interests diverged into the visualisation of expertise and the implications of variation in the structure of knowledge as depicted by students and as promoted in the curriculum.
I started to use concept mapping to explore educational theory and have combined the tool that is strongly linked to its origins in educational psychology (particularly the work of David Ausubel) with other theoretical positions that might inform teaching in higher education. These have included ideas from the sociology of education (particularly the work of Basil Bernstein and Karl Maton); ideas from evolutionary Biology (Stephen Jay Gould’s concept of exaptation); ideas from health sciences (particularly the work on Salutogenesis by Anton Antonovsky), and the post-structuralist ideas of Gilles Deleuze (especially the concept of the rhizome). These ideas offer an opportunity to revise and refresh the assumptions that underpinned Joe Novak’s work on concept mapping – that might increase the level of criticality in continuing research.
This work raises questions about the methodological conservatism of the field of concept mapping (and perhaps of higher education research more broadly). The observed methodological and conceptual conservatism of the concept mapping literature is seen as a consequence of its linear (arborescent) development from science education. Through this work, the reader can trace the development of the researcher from his roots in Biological Sciences towards a greater appreciation of post-structuralist perspectives – challenging the conservatism mentioned above.
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