Concept maps visually elucidate the relations between ideas andconcepts, generally referred to as variables. These variables areusually represented in boxes or circles and are connected by wordingsand phrases that provide a brief explanation of the relations betweenthe ideas, assisting us to organize and construct our considerationsto understand information more as well as discern new relations.Mostly, concept maps epitomize a graded arrangement with the general,expansive concept first linked to sub-topics, followed by the morespecific ideas. Civic involvement is defined as the individual,communal actions aimed at identifying and addressing public concernissues. In simple wording, it is the citizens working together tomake a difference in their community (Lelieveldt,Dekker,Völker & Torenvlied 23). This paper willprovide a detailed explanation of the relationships, as well as anevaluation of a civic involvement concept map.
Civic involvement involves working to bring a change in the civiclife of an individual`s community and creating the integration ofskills, knowledge, motivation, and values that bring the difference.It means the use of political as well as non-political processes topromote the quality of life in a community. A community as a unit isthe best source of solutions and wisdom, knowledge and experience, aswell as potential solutions for other communities. Civic involvementcan be designed to achieve various causes that promote the welfare ofthe community, and it involves several activities that add uptogether to the main agenda. In the civic involvement concept map,the variables represent activities and values that come together in acomplicated relationship to makes a healthy community.
The central concept in the map is a healthy community and is linkedto the sub-topics, which are the government, social capital,engagement, and porousness. The sub-topics are then connecteddirectly by different relationships to the more distinct concepts.The preliminary analysis of the concept mapping created three mainareas, the government`s contribution, individual engagement, and thesocial capital. The government plays a major role in the developmentof a healthy community and can create it alone or in conjunction withelements from mother participants or factors. A healthy communityentails several factors such as good education, good homes, religion,ethnicity, and safe neighborhood. As much as these factors are thecomponents of a healthy community, they also contribute to itsdevelopment. Civic engagement also contributes to the achievement ofthis goal, and the people can work independently as a community or incollaboration with the government. Engagement instills good values tothe people such as the moral order, trust among individuals, civicvirtue, as well as good citizenship. The elements of good citizenshipand civic virtue leads to individuals` engagement. A good citizengains trust from the people and has excellent skills that aretransferable to others. On the other hand, engagement depends onsocial capital, which can also contribute directly to civic health.Social capital includes elements such as political participation,civic participation, religious participation, internal connections,workplace connections, and individual volunteering or philanthropy.The civic engagement can either be through loose connections amongpeople, or through strategic alliances, and these two depends on theporousness of the engagement. In the final achievement of the primarygoal of improving the community, the central concepts workindependently or along with the other main concepts and areindividually contributed or determined by specific factors andvalues. The relationships between the variables overcome the variouschallenges dividing the people, and this strengthens relationships,which in turn makes work easier. The main concepts in the map kept onchanging, but their relationship with the other ideas in the map wasconstant.
From the map, the relationship between social capital and theelements of political participation, civic participation, religiousparticipation, internal connections, workplace connections, andphilanthropy was found to be the most accurate. There is also astrong connection between engagement and the social capital, whichmakes the relationship very accurate. However, the relationshipsbetween health community and the concepts such as religion, race orethnicity, and type of neighborhood were not very clear hence neededsome revision. This is not surprising because this was a preliminarymap, and in concept mapping, preliminary maps would likely needrevising. Apart from this revision, the concept map lacked the arrowsshowing the relationships between variables. A concept map isstructured hierarchically whereby one concept leads to the other.Therefore, the arrows show the direction and the relationships of theconcepts thus giving an enhanced understanding of the topic, and atthe same time assists in the hierarchical structure of the map. Themap also needed linking phrases and words, which connects theconcepts. The linking phrases give a brief explanation of therelationship between the concepts. They also illustrate theconnections and improves the knowledge and understanding on thetopic. The relationships between some concepts in the map aretwo-way. Thus the use of arrows and the linking phrases will be veryhelpful in explaining them (Lelieveldt,. et al. 18).
Concept maps are very useful tools in learning and understanding anygiven topics. They visually elucidate the relations between ideas andconcepts, generally referred to as variables. The variables arenormally represented in boxes or circles and are connected bywordings and phrases that provide a brief explanation of therelations between the ideas, assisting us to organize and constructour views to understand information more as well as discover newrelationships. In a civic involvement concept map, the variablesrepresent activities and values that come together in a complicatedrelationship to make a healthy community.
Lelieveldt,H., Dekker, K., Völker, B., & Torenvlied, R.."Civic Organizations As Political Actors: Mapping And PredictingThe Involvement Of Civic Organizations In NeighborhoodProblem-Solving And Coproduction". Urban Affairs Review,vol 45, no. 1, 2012, pp. 3-24. SAGE Publications. Web
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