Concept-Based Teaching General Principles


The concepts that have been identified for teaching and learning need to be shared at the earliest opportunity with students.

This is an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the subject, preview and explore the syllabus and begin to build on prior knowledge.

Try one of these learning experiences:

Be Explicit

Students need to be given the time and the space to specifically identify concepts, and may require guidance from teachers initially.

Concepts are not specific to content, so there are multiple opportunities to identify and justify concepts within each unit of learning or learning experience. Use good questioning techniques to draw this out.


Engage with the learning outcomes on a regular basis. Set time aside within each learning experience to engage with the relevant concepts. This approach will build student understanding of the concepts but also of the connections that exist between other areas of the syllabus.


Display the concepts for your subject prominently within your teaching spaces to allow students to become familiar with them.

This can be done via the ManageBac Posters which can be displayed prominently in your classroom, or perhaps issued to each student to have within their paper file - previous students have glued them into the front of their binders.

An alternative is to use student artwork to visualise the concepts, which will promote ownership of the concept displays.


Within the classroom and the department, regularly assign time to discuss which concepts are relevant to the content being experienced. In this way, the concepts become part of the departmental, school and the student's vocabulary, understanding and development.

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