This paper provides a framework for using concept mapping for meaningful learning in accounting education. It includes a review of the extant literature on the effectiveness of concept mapping, an inventory of ready-to-use concept maps for introductory accounting, and a step-by-step guide to introduce concept mapping in the classroom. In addition, a limited research study on learning outcomes is discussed as well as constraints in using this pedagogical approach.
Concept mapping is widely used in other disciplines as an enriching learning tool to help students organize information and develop higher-order thinking skills. It involves a process of externalizing, through drawing and diagrams, the mental connections and association patterns that a student makes on knowledge learned (Angelo and Cross, 1993). It is an innovative classroom pedagogy that promotes development of self-learning and life-long learning skills sought by the early change agents in our profession, validated more recently in the joint AAA, AICPA, IMA report (Albrecht and Sack, 2000).