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Software engineering is a comprehensive and highly practical course, traditional teaching is very inadequate. Concept maps are a way to develop logical thinking and study skills, by revealing connections and helping students see how individual ideas form a larger whole. According to its characters concept maps should be used to improve software engineering teaching. In recent years both research and application of concept man have made great progress. Concept maps become increasingly mature method. In this paper we introduce the challenge which software engineering teaching is facing with. Then we proposed that concept maps can be employed to the software engineering teaching. The role and the application approach of concept map are explored. The practices show that concept maps are excellent teaching, learning and evaluating tools in software engineering. The results are remarkable.