To what extent is my current practice concept-based?

Misunderstandings and Struggles

So let’s start with a common misunderstanding and struggle which may resonate, and according to Lynn Erickson, is shared by many teachers around the world.

A common misunderstanding is the belief that concepts are more important than facts. This, however, is a myth. What is needed to support students is to offer a content rich curriculum so that students can access examples and use them in order to build conceptual and transferrable understandings.

A common struggle, also shared by many teachers, is that they find it difficult to go beyond teaching content and skills. Concept-based learning aims for students to use core content and skills as tools - as opposed to content and skills being the final destination of learning - to reach higher levels of thinking and deeper understanding. One common reason is that teachers feel they need to ‘cover’ the curriculum. Another common reason is that teachers can feel unsure of the steps they can take to scaffold learning so that students build their own conceptual understandings.

Reflect - Act

Before going any further I invite you to pause and explore the concept-based pedagogy continuum below. Consider using it to make notes and adjust as you move through this guide:

  1. Click here to make your own copy and use as a reflection tool to support you/your team in your concept-based learning journey

  2. Read, reflect and highlight across the continuum based on practice

  3. Identify which areas you might consider to develop

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