EXTENDING STUDENTS POSITIVE EXPERIENCES WITH RICH PICTURE DIAGRAMS TO SUBJECT RELATED DIAGRAMS
The University of Northampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Persistent evidence emerging from research literature suggests that students are experiencing difficulties with using diagrams in their studies. However, the same student population seems comfortable, expressive, and creative when using rich picture diagrams to represent and model their everyday experiences and interactions with the rich environment surrounding them. This contrast in student performances with diagrams stimulated our attempt to understand the nature of the positive experiences students have with rich picture diagrams and how this can be extrapolated and mapped to diagrams in their subject areas. The thrust of our approach is based on the limitations of existing traditional ways of understanding diagrams. The reductionist underpinnings of these ways constrain and limit the richness of the world around us. Our proposal takes a non reductionist approach in understanding diagrams based on symbolic and spatial mapping. First, we will outline the basis of our approach. Second, we will demonstrate the potentials of this approach by applying it to interpret the richness of student generated rich picture diagrams. Finally, we will apply it to the interpretation of a semantically complex subject related diagram. The contrast and the value of our approach will serve to demonstrate the potential for extending it to teaching students how to work better with diagrams.