Developing Critical Thinking Skills through Concept Mapping

Monday, 9 November 2015: 3:35 PM

Yvonne Botma, PhD, MSocSc, BSocSc, RN, RM, FANSA
School of Nursing, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Concept mapping provides a visual presentation of meaningful relationships between concepts in the form of schemes. Competence in nursing is based on the ability to integrate knowledge in order to identify the problem or shortcomings and understand the related theory to the problem. Evidence of competence further lies in the application of the integrated knowledge in a practical event or situation in a real life setting or simulation. A competent practitioner therefore has the ability to think critically.

In using concept maps, critical thinking skills are developed through the graphic presentation of the following:

  • the central issues and assumptions in the argument
  • declarative knowledge and information from a wide range of sources
  • different arguments, claims and evidence
  • important relationships and evidence-based interpretations
  • valid and reliable evidence
  • inferences drawn from the evidence
  • conceptualisation of decisions and solutions to problems