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

Foreword by H. Lynn Erickson and Lois A. Lanning



© 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…

"Stern tears down the false dichotomies of traditional vs innovative education and provides the clarion call and practical tool kit for developing creativity by building 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

"If you are ready to have students really learn, get ready to be amazed.  Here is the complete guide to creating your very own concept-based classroom.  I have never read a book filled with so many great ideas that can be used in any classroom."

Amanda McKee, Secondary Mathematics Instructor
Johnsonville High School, SC

"This book is as essential to a teacher utilizing concept-based teaching as the approach of concept-based learning is essential to teaching."

Ayo Magwood, Social Studies Teacher
Maret Private School, Washington, DC

"I can't recommend this book enough! Exceptionally practical pedagogical techniques that are steeped in bags of authentic research. Addressing how children learn, how teachers can plan lessons within a conceptual framework, specific and useful differentiation techniques and feedback methods--so many meaningful and highly effective ways to move learners forward, preparing them for the future in a meaningful way." 

Julia Briggs, Certified Concept-Based trainer, IB science teacher and Chemistry Coordinator
Colegio Anglo-Colombiano, Bogotá, Colombia

"This book addresses the need for students to learn critical dispositions and skills which go beyond traditional discipline knowledge and are essential for student success as innovators in the 21st century."

Brenda Booth, Instructional Coach
Burlington-Edison School District, Burlington, WA

"While most good educators recognise the incredible value of teaching conceptually, it is challenging. Julie Stern, Krista Ferraro and Juliet Mohnkern have created accessible, practical baby steps for every teacher to use."

Dr. Vincent Chan, principal
Fairview International School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“The authors of Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding have crafted an incredible resource for teachers in secondary education.  This book provides a strong rationale on the importance of concept based curriculum development in the classroom for the 21st century.  The book delivers a framework on how to build a concept based classroom from the ground up, offering practical, easy-to-apply tools and techniques that will allow teachers to redesign their curriculum in a rigorous way, while providing a classroom environment of deep learning.  From developing great lesson plans to on-point assessments that target conceptual understanding, this book is an incredible resource for classroom teachers”.

Maria Cardona, Middle school science IB instructor
Corbett Preparatory School of IDS

“Perhaps the most significant question every educationist asks today is how to meet the needs of all learners in a classroom. Conceptual learning teaches for deep understanding, and enables students to find patterns and make connections thus providing intellectual dignity. In the section on differentiation, there are clear action steps with examples as support for reaching out to all students. A must read for all those committed to concept-based teaching and instruction!”

Mona Seervai, former Principal, IB Workshop Leader and Consultant, certified Concept based Trainer
Bombay International School

"Julie Stern has truly “drilled down” the concept-based framework, providing an understandable guide for teaching and assessing conceptual understanding. It should be a “go to” resource for every teacher!"

Susanne Long, Director of Curriculum, Research, & Development Services
Onslow County School System, Jacksonville, NC

"Stern’s method provides a lucid framework to deepen conceptual understanding. Building upon the foundation laid by Erickson and Lanning, this approach provides tangible strategies for classroom teachers to nurture deeper learning."

Richard Healy, Deputy Head of Secondary School
Colegio Anglo Colombiano, Bogotá, Colombia
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


Preview this book

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781506355702
$34.95

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.