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Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Secondary

Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Secondary
Designing Lessons and Assessments for Deep Learning

Foreword by H. Lynn Erickson and Lois A. Lanning

February 2017 | 192 pages | Corwin

Students become experts and innovators through Concept-Based teaching

Innovators don’t invent without a deep understanding of how the world works. With this foundation, they apply conceptual understanding to solve new problems. We want our students to not only retain ideas, but relate them to other things they encounter, using each new situation to add nuance and sophistication to their thinking. To do this, they need conceptual understanding.

This book serves as a road map for Concept-Based teaching. Discover how to help students uncover conceptual relationships and transfer them to new situations. Specifically, teachers will learn:

  • Strategies for introducing conceptual learning to students
  • Four lesson frameworks to help students uncover conceptual relationships
  • How to assess conceptual understanding, and
  • How to differentiate concept-based instruction

Look no further. For deep learning and innovative thinking, this book is the place to start.

"The authors tear down the false dichotomies of traditional vs innovative education and provide a practical toolkit for developing creativity and applying knowledge through Concept-Based learning. Every practitioner needs this book to juxtapose what worked well in the 20th Century with what is essential in the 21st Century and beyond."
Michael McDowell, Superintendent
Ross School District, Ross, CA

"While most good educators recognise the incredible value of teaching conceptually, it is challenging. The authors have created accessible, practical baby steps for every teacher to use."
Dr. Vincent Chan, principal
Fairview International School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Introduction: Why Is Concept-Based Curriculum Critical for the 21st Century?
1. What Are the Essential Elements of Concept-Based Curriculum Design?
2. How Do We Establish a Culture of Deep Learning?
3. What Are the Building Blocks of Concept-Based Instruction?
4. What Additional Tools Can We Use to Design Lessons?
5. How Do We Design Ongoing Assessments for Conceptual Understanding?
6. How Can We Meet the Needs of All Learners in a Concept-Based Classroom?
7. What Is the Relationship Between Current Best Practices and Concept-Based?
Conclusion: Imagine What School Could Be…

"As the product, and facilitator, of a topic-based, coverage-centered education for some four decades, discovering the value of a concept-based approach to teaching and learning has caused a paradigmatic shift both in my classroom and in my own intellectual journey. Julie Stern´s book builds upon the best of recent educational theory and research to guide teachers on how to transform our students from fact-collectors into conceptual experts as they discover and transfer their understandings of the world around them, and ultimately, seek to solve real-world challenges."

Neville Kirton, Head of Humanities Department
Colegio Anglo Colombiano, Bogotá, Colombia

"Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding  is filled with assessments and ideas for teaching students to think conceptually in the classroom.  Teachers can learn tools for developing student thinking and how to continually assess for conceptual understanding as learning happens.  I recommend this book for anyone who is looking to develop lessons and assessments to support deep, conceptual thinking in their classroom."

Amy Reisner, Assistant Principal, District Concept-Based Trainer
Bay View Elementary, Burlington, WA
Key features

Teachers will learn:

  • Strategies for introducing students to conceptual learning
  • Instructional strategies to help students uncover and transfer concepts
  • How to write concept-based lessons
  • How to assess for conceptual understanding
  • How to differentiate in a concept-based classroom
  • How CBCI aligns with other current best practices and initiatives (like PBL, CCSS, etc.)

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

For instructors

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