A small-scale investigation of the extent to which the skill of mindmapping improves conceptual learning in history in standard 8.
This study investigated, in a small-scale, the extent to which the skill of mind-mapping improves conceptual learning in history in Standard eight. The study was carried out using two Standard eight classes. Each class had approximately 30 pupils. One group (8C) formed the experimental group while another (8D) formed the control group. The lesson planning and structure for the experimental group was carried out using Vygotsky's mediational teaching methodology. The design and construction of the pre-and post tests corresponded with each other with regard to the type of questions asked. Questions were designed to test the learner's ability to interpret and use mind maps as learning aids and the ability to recall with understanding. During the period between testing the groups received different types of intervention. The control group, 8D, received "normal" instruction (le. that which they usually received in their History lessons). This instruction consisted of eighteen lessons and the French revolution was the principal topic from which other topics were taken. This instruction was both teacher -centred and textbook-centred. The learners' participation was limited to answering of questions. Intervention in the experimental group ,8C, involved teaching in the normal way and also modelling how to interpret and use mind maps on simple non history at the beginning. Learners were given the opportunity to practice how to interpret and use mind maps as learning aids under controlled guidance until they were able to operate in an autonomous way. The same procedure was used to teach simple and complex history content. The tests results were analysed quantitatively and statistically. The results obtained supported the hypothesis that conceptual learning in History can be greatly improved through the use of the skill of mind mapping. The study ends by suggesting some recommendations for further research.