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Education Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 902810, 12 pages
Research Article

The Effects of Knowledge Maps on Acquisition and Retention of Visual Arts Concepts in Teacher Education

Department of Leadership and Teacher Education, College of Education, University of South Alabama, UCOM 3100, Mobile, AL 36608, USA

Received 22 January 2014; Revised 19 May 2014; Accepted 20 May 2014; Published 16 June 2014

Academic Editor: Jan Elen

Copyright © 2014 Paige Vitulli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined the use of knowledge maps as a tool for teacher education students to increase knowledge acquisition and retention of concepts related to the visual arts design elements: line, color, and shape. Participants were randomly assigned to either the no map or knowledge map group. Three instruments—Student Autobiography, Elements of Design Tests (EDT), and Knowledge Map Questionnaire—were used to collect data. Results revealed significantly higher means on the immediately administered posttest for the elements line and color and the delayed posttest for line map group. Questionnaire responses indicated positive attitudes toward knowledge map use as a study strategy. Specifically, endorsement was reported toward maps’ clarity, effectiveness for learning concepts, and enjoyment of use.