Archive for the ‘Concept Maps’ Category

Hobbes on the Sources of Social Conflict

August 27, 2009

I had an email from a student at another school asking if I had any other concept maps.  Here’s one on Hobbes’s famous Chapter 13 of Leviathan. I should have mapped out the whole argument, but I never did, and this year I’m not teaching 250 so it will have to wait.



A Map of Rawls’s Political Liberalism

March 3, 2009

Here is a concept map that I’ve been working on of Rawls’s Political Liberalism. Hover your cursor over the elements and you should get some pop-up text. It disappears a bit quickly, but just move the cursor to get it to reappear. It’s very much a draft, so comments are welcome.

Concepts Maps in Teaching Political Theory

January 20, 2009

A couple of years ago I became enamored of concept mapping, and did a lot of work to integrate concept maps into teaching political theory.  I made diagrams of the argument in Book 1 of Plato’s Republic, of Hobbes’s account of the sources of social conflict, of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, or Rousseau’s Social Contract.  Here’s one that’s intended to capture the structure of Locke’s defense of toleration:

The main elements of Locke's argument for toleration

The main elements of Locke's argument for toleration

I found these maps very illuminating, but some (many?) of my students found them too confusing.  “Couldn’t you simplify it a bit more, into a list of bullets?”  Well, yes… but what fun would that be?  It’s the complexity that’s interesting.  Probably my mistake was to introduce the full complexity up front, instead of giving the students the elements and having them figure out the map (or the alternatve possible maps).  As usual, too top-down, not interactive enough.

I also ran into a technical problem, however, that has deterred me from creating more of these. (more…)