The theory of concept mapping can be related to meaningful learning. Different definitions of concept maps are present in the international literature. It can be determined at least that the concept maps are graphical tools of knowledge representation. The most general concept is situated at the top of the map and the more specific concepts of domain are arranged hierarchically below. The included nodes apply to the important concepts and ideas. These are connected with lines and arrows that refer to relationship between the nodes. Concept maps can take several visual shapes: hub/spoke, linear, circular, tree and network/net. The network/net form is the arrangement that offers the best tool for meaningful learning. It consists of many levels, it shows complex interactions, the map integrity is high, the reorganization will be allowed. The PISA international research shows that Hungarian students use rote learning very often. Rote learning does not lead to applicable and recallable knowledge, the knowledge systems develop heavier and the elements remain isolated. It is helpful if the learning material is to be perceived visually, then the learner chooses rote learning more rarely in this way. The hierarchical arrangement of the information, the establishing of the concept's subsumption, the differentiation of the knowledge will be possible through meaningful learning. Concept mapping is a suitable tool to explore the prior knowledge of the students, to choose the main concepts during the process of a topic and reveal the relationship between them. The use of concept map helps to store the knowledge in the long term memory, to make our knowledge recall easier, to be related with many lines to each other. It establishes anchorage, which helps them store main ideas in the long term memory. The effectiveness of concept maps are established internationally, but the national empirical studies are waiting to be carried out. The aim of the study is to define concept maps, to present their theoretical basis, to analyze their relationship to meaningful learning and to present some international school programs targeted at the practical use of concept maps.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.