Concept mapping through logs and metacognitive reflection during third graders' scientific problem-solving

Barbara Cozza, Fordham University


The purpose of the study was to investigate third graders' metacognitive and science problem-solving processes for the purpose of formulating an instructional metacognitive model from the data. The researcher analyzed six third-grade students' concept maps and science reflective logs in order to identify the learning processes of children engaged in science problem-solving tasks. The materials for data collection were composed of the pretest and posttest concept map, think-aloud protocols of problem solving, and reflective logs. The think-aloud protocols measured the metacognitive processes during the problem-solving sessions. The concept maps and reflective logs explicated the metacognitive processes further. Each participant took part in six problem-solving activities on the topic of electricity. The sessions were videotaped and audiotaped, and analyzed further by the researcher. At the beginning of the unit, a pretest concept map was constructed by each learner, to tap into prior knowledge of the learners. At the end of the unit, a posttest map was constructed by each learner. This posttest was done to evaluate the acquired knowledge and scientific conceptual change of each participant. Data analysis was descriptive and used a small heterogeneous population. The data analysis took place in two different phases. In Phase 1 of the analysis, the researcher analyzed think-aloud videotape and audiotape sessions of problem-solving tasks. A cognitive- metacognitive framework was used to observe the overt behavior of all six participants. During Phase 2, the investigator focused on case studies of the participants and used a metacognitive science problem-solving instructional model to analyze maps and logs. The model used Vygotsky's theory of everyday concepts and scientific thinking. The use of the problem-solving sessions was essential to the study because metacognitive behaviors were activated that ordinarily are not present in other classroom activities. All areas of cognitive and metacognitive behaviors were activated. Children explored, monitored their progress, and gave suggestions to others. Learners recorded ideas in logs and on maps, moving from everyday concepts to scientific thinking. Throughout the process, participants self-questioned, self-monitored, and self-reflected.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Science education|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Cozza, Barbara, "Concept mapping through logs and metacognitive reflection during third graders' scientific problem-solving" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9708248.