7. Conceptual maps as a methodological approach in educational research

Carmen Lúcia Guimarães de Mattos, Luis Paulo Cruz Borges, Paula Almeida de Castro


The aim of this paper is to illustrate the use of conceptual maps to analyse inclusion/exclusion in an educational system, and to contribute to the methodology for understanding the meaning of cultural diversity in interactions in schools. This analysis, focusing on the study of a “state of the art” of school failure, arose from the database created for the Nucleus of Ethnography in Education (NetEDU). It was used for the research group’s seminars in 2009 and 2010 about how different technologies, including conceptual maps, could be used in the methodology of educational research. Taking a methodological-epistemological approach in defi ning categories in order to represent participants’ perspectives, this paper provides a first structured analysis of explanations of school failure in an effort to help demystify the issue for teachers and researchers, and therefore to promote understanding between school teachers and graduate students.

Full Text