[Offtopic] Call For Chapters

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Aug 18 23:51:00 EST 2007

Date:    Fri, 17 Aug 2007 02:29:45 -0700
From:    Rita Marriott <rita.marriott at YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Deadline extended - Collaborative Learning using Concept Mapping


  Proposals Submission Deadline Extended: 9/30/2007

  Full Articles Due: 1/30/2008

  Handbook of Research on Collaborative Learning using Concept Mapping

  A book edited by 

  Patricia Lupion Torres PhD. 
  Universidade Catolica do Parana (PUCPR), Brazil & 
  Rita de Cassia Veiga Marriott MEd. 
  University of Birmingham/UK & Universidade Catolica do Parana/Brazil
  patitorres at terra.com.br 
  rita.marriott at yahoo.com

  The new socioeconomic and technological pressures arising from an 
unparalleled globalised world require that current methodological 
solutions be reviewed. 

  At such a unique conjuncture, with unprecedented resources, the 
opportunity of making learning situations more flexible and of advancing, 
enriching and socializing them must not be missed.

  Educators are seeking new methodologies to respond to the demand for 
personal education and knowledge acquisition and production.  

  A study by Laister & Kober (2005) identified a number of reasons for the 
success of Collaborative Learning (CL) as a teaching approach. Of these 
reasons, the following stand out:  

  1. the effectiveness of both short-term learning, in terms of the 
subject / material being studied, and long-term learning, in terms of 
cognitive skills and self-esteem; 

  2. when CL is compared with individual and competitive learning 
scenarios, it can be seen to help students perform better by increasing 
their ability to resolve problems and helping develop personality traits 
that will be of benefit to them in both their academic and professional 

  and 3.  CL empowers the individual and gives him/her the skills to live 
a more independent, collaborative and pleasant life.

  Collaborative learning thus offers the possibility of methodological 
innovation. It represents a significant shift away from the typical 
classroom, where the teacher places him/herself at the centre of the 

  In CL, students, or students and teachers, unite their intellectual 
efforts and generally work in groups of two or more with the aim to 
understand, solve, create or determine the meaning of a subject together.  

  Activities revolve around the exploration or use of course material by 
students rather than a simple presentation or explanation by the teacher.  

 In collaborative work, students are inevitably faced with differences and 
must make an effort to work with these differences. 

  Developing the ability to tolerate and resolve issues, to come to 
agreements that respect all the members of the group and to take an 
interest in colleagues’ progress are crucial skills for community life. 

  Development of these values and skills is generally relegated to the 
student’s life “outside” the school environment.  Encouraging teamwork, a 
sense of community and leadership skills are legitimate and valuable aims 
for the classroom rather than just for outside it.  (SMITH & MacGREGOR, 
1992, p. 2) 

  At the same time, the technological advances that have taken place in 
this new knowledge society have made it much easier both to access and to 
disseminate this know-how.  Nevertheless, in spite of the extraordinary 
advances in communications and in all areas of knowledge, the enormous 
amount of information available has given rise to concerns and worries 
among teachers the world over regarding how to understand and learn about 
the information that is being disseminated and use it to construct new 

  Concept Mapping is a way of representing the information visually which 
is beginning to be implemented at all educational levels in many 
institutions worldwide.  

  It was developed by Novak and his team in 1972 while working on a 12-
year project with elementary school children in Ithaca/USA (Novak, 2004, 
p. 458) and it is regarded by many researchers as a powerful learning and 
teaching technique.  

  Based on Ausubel’s ideas of progressive differentiation and integrative 
reconciliation, two of the major advantages of its use can be stated as:  

  1.  When engaging in the construction of concept maps, students think 
both on the content and on the form, and this exercise promotes the 
development of both sides of the brain, the creative and the analytical 

  and 2.   The organised visual representation of content helps in the 
transfer of knowledge from the short-term memory to the long-term memory, 
anchoring new concepts to previously acquired ones.  

  By using collaborative learning and concept mapping, it is possible to 
build up on previous knowledge and construct and create something new 
using information and ideas.  These intellectual acts of processing and 
constructing meaning or of creating something new are crucial to 

  Students, absorbed in challenging tasks or questions, collaborate and 
bring many different perspectives to the classroom as well as different 
cultures, learning styles, experiences and aspirations. 

  This mutual exploration, creation of meaning and feedback result in a 
better understanding by the student and in the creation of new meanings 
for all of us since, as teachers, we can no longer follow the “one-size-
fits-all” approach. (SMITH & MacGREGOR, 1992, p. 2)

  Therefore, in the light of the above, The Handbook of Research on 
Collaborative Learning using Concept Mapping aims at overcoming and going 
beyond models based on the accumulation and reproduction of knowledge. 

  The publication of this book/handbook is thus justified by the need to 
present, and the possibility of presenting, innovative educational and 
learning models that meet current complex educational demands. 
  The Handbook of Research on Collaborative Learning using Concept Mapping 
will contribute with theoretical reflections and approaches on the use of 
Concept Maps in the collaborative-learning methodology in order to assist 
educators at different teaching levels and to foster professional 
discussion and progress in this new developing field.  

  Each chapter will consist of 5,000 to 7,500 words and will report on 
research, studies, methodologies and approaches involving collaborative 
learning and concept mapping.
  Recommended topics and chapter organization include, but are not limited 
to, the following:
  1. Theoretical Foundation
  -  The Fundamentals of Collaborative Learning
  -  The Fundamentals of Concept Maps
  -  From planning to assessment in the context of collaborative learning 
using concept maps
  2. Practical Foundation
  -  Successful experiences of collaborative learning using concept maps.
  -  Interfaces for the construction of collaborative concept maps
  Invited Submissions: Prospective authors are invited to submit a 2-3 
page manuscript on their proposed chapter via e-mail on or before 
September 30, 2007. The proposal should be on previously unpublished work 
on the above-suggested topics or other related topics in the area of 
collaborative learning using concept mapping and should clearly explain 
the mission and concerns of your research.  

  We strongly encourage other topics that have not been listed in our 
suggested list, particularly if the topic is related to the research area 
in which you have expertise.  

  Upon acceptance of your proposal, you will have until January 30, 2008 
to prepare your chapter of 5,000-7,500 words and 7-10 related terms and 
their appropriate definitions.  Guidelines for preparing your paper and 
terms and definitions will be sent to you upon acceptance of your proposal.
  Please forward your proposal including your name and affiliation on or 
before September 30, 2007. You will be notified about the status of your 
proposed chapter by January 30, 2008. The book is scheduled to be 
published by Idea Group, Inc., publisher of the Idea Group Publishing, 
Information Science Publishing, IRM Press, CyberTech Publishing and Idea 
Group Reference imprints, in 2008. 
  Please forward inquiries and submissions to both editors by e-mail to:
  Dr. Patricia Lupion Torres
  Head of E-Learning
  Universidade Catolica do Parana (PUCPR) 
  patitorres at terra.com.br 
  Rita de Cassia Veiga Marriott MEd.
  Language Teacher & E-Learning Researcher
  University of Birmingham & Universidade Catolica do Parana (PUCPR)
  rita.marriott at yahoo.com 

Cheers, people
Stephen Loosley
Victoria, Australia

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