Concept mapping strategy: An attempt to transform rote-learners into critical thinkers

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Critical thinking is an important component of higher education in any discipline. Teaching strategies such as reflections, self-directed learning, questioning, and concept mapping, which ask for active engagement of students in their learning, fosters critical thinking. Contrary to these strategies, didactic teaching and rote learning is still prevalent in most teaching institutions in Pakistan. This paper reports the findings of a quasi-experimental study in which students at Aga Khan University School of Nursing were taught to use concept mapping strategy. A total of 97 first year nursing students were enrolled in the study. In the pre-intervention phase all students were assessed for their level of self-directed learning and ways of knowing, using two instruments, named SDLRS (Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale) and WOKAT (Ways of Knowing Assessment Tool). Students were allocated to experimental and control groups based on their WOKAT score. The experimental group students were taught concept-maps development.. In the post-intervention phase, all students were reassessed on SDLRS, WOKAT, and GPA, and their scores were compared. Findings revealed significant difference between the GPA scores of control and experimental groups but no substantial changes were noted in their SDLRS and WOKAT scores.


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