Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Concept mapping is a metacognitive learning strategy which often improves a learner's ability to construct new knowledge. This action research project was intended to determine the level of effectiveness of concept mapping as a student learning intervention. Students in two high school science classes constructed concept maps before and after instruction during a unit of study about volcanoes. The maps were analyzed for increases in complexity and indications of learning. The concept maps were then compared for differences by groups based on volcano unit test scores. Based on the analysis of the matched pairs of concept maps, those maps which contained a higher amount of prior knowledge of the subject matter were associated with maps which showed greatest amount of increase in knowledge after instruction. These results are supported by the many researchers who contend that the most important factor in learning new information and gaining new knowledge is the amount of prior knowledge a learner brings into the learning situation. The results of this action research project will be applied to the development of future science courses by this researcher.