The Concept Mapping Academy

The Concept Mapping Academy is a non-for profit Foundation registered in Tallinn, Estonia. Its mission is to raise the use and quality of concept mapping in education and business. Our main activities include:

  1. Provide tutorials on the use of concept mapping
  2. Certify levels of proficiency in concept mapping
  3. Develop methodology and software on the assessment of concept maps
  4. Develop concept mapping-based didactic materials for teachers of all educational levels

The Concept Mapping Academy has close ties with the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), USA, and with Tallinn University, Estonia.


The Concept Mapping Academy was founded by Alberto J. Cañas and Priit Reiska. Its honorary President is Joseph D. Novak. 


Alberto J. Cañas is Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist at IHMC (Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, USA).

He received a Master Degree in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Management Science, both from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

He has taught at the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Tulane University and INCAE (in Costa Rica). From 1989 to 2005, he was part of the Computer Science Department at the University of West Florida (UWF).

For many years, Prof. Cañas has been involved in the use of technology in education. At IHMC he has lead the development of the CmapTools software, a concept mapping software kit extensively used throughout the world. He has also founded the Concept Mapping Conference and has co-organized all editions of the conference. Prof. Cañas has published extensively and has lectured throughout many countries in North and Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.


Priit Reiska is Vice Rector and Professor for Science Education in Tallinn University, Estonia. He has worked earlier as physics teacher at school, laboratory assistant in university, researcher and senior scientist.

Professor Reiska has graduated in Tallinn University as physics teacher. He received his PhD and habilitation in science education at the University of Kiel, Germany. Hi has got during his academic carrier different research grants (e.g. Fulbright, DAAD) and many Estonian research scholarships.

His main research interest is using concept mapping in education. In addition his research interests include relevance of science education, interdisciplinary science education and computer simulations in science education.


Joseph D. Novak Senior Research Scientist at IHMC (Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, USA) and Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, USA.

Completing graduate studies at the University of Minnesota in 1957, Dr. Novak taught biology at Kansas State Teachers College at Emporia, 1957-59, and biology and teacher education courses at Purdue University, 1959-67. From 1967 to 1995, he was Professor of Education and Biological sciences at Cornell University where his research focused on human learning, educational studies and knowledge creation and representation. He has developed a theory of education to guide research and instruction, first published in 1977 and updated in 1998 and 2010. Dr. Novak is recognized worldwide as the developer, with his research team at Cornell, of concept mapping.

His research work includes studies on student’s ideas on learning and epistemology, and methods of applying educational ideas and tools (such as concept mapping) in corporate settings and distance learning programs.



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