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Laying stress on ideas

Unlike traditional learning models which concentrate on the ability to recall specific facts, conceptual learning focuses on understanding broader principles.

Neelima Kamrah | New Delhi |

To address the challenges in the field of education, concept based learning is needed in curriculum. The world which is changing in a fast pace, results in the constant creation of new content and knowledge but concept stays the same. Concept-based learning emphasise on big ideas rather than focusing on subject-specific content. Information is useless until and unless we can do something with it.

Concept-based learning brings real world meaning to content knowledge and skills by leading students to consider the context in which they will use their understanding. A concept based education not only improves results but also promotes the learning capacities to enable students to succeed in the future. Its instruction must begin with content skills and knowledge established by local standards and curriculum guides.

It is an educational method that centers on big-picture ideas and learning how to organise and categorise information. Unlike more traditional learning models which concentrate on the ability to recall specific facts (such as the dates of an event), conceptual learning focuses on understanding broader principles or ideas (what we call concepts). The traditional method of education is to connect students with information sources without considering whether the student is able to understand the concept and remember it.

Making schooling meaningful: A concept-based education challenges learners to think more widely and deeply than a traditional, topic-based, two-dimensional one. It focuses only on knowledge and skills, whereas the former goes much further and deeper, developing conceptual understanding.

Relevance of education: In order to be relevant, a curriculum must look at all aspects of a young person’s development as a learner. Science specialists still need to develop their creativity; linguists still need to be fit; artists still need to be responsibly active citizens. Students who have successfully completed their high school, have both a bag of great academic results and a bag of learning capacities that enable them to use these grades to good effect. These are ingredients for success.

Benefits of a concept-based education: We believe that a creative, concept-based education engages the intellect and emotions of a student to a higher degree than a traditional, topic-based curriculum can achieve. This helps students to transfer their understandings across learning areas. They are better equipped to make connections to their own experiences and the wider world, both now and when looking to the future. Their intellect is developed to handle a world of increasing complexity and accelerating change, producing an intellectual depth in thinking and understanding. Students’ motivation for learning is increased, as they are encouraged to analyse facts and consider implications in a personally engaging way.

Increase in interest: Interest is a powerful motivational process that energises learning, guides academic and career trajectories, and is essential to academic success. Interest is both a psychological state of attention and affection toward a particular object or topic and an enduring predisposition to reengage over time. It is very difficult to keep the student at one place and keep focused on what is being taught. That’s why it is very important to make the curriculum extremely interesting so that students are in touch with them. This specialty is clearly shown in concept based education. Whether it is an English drama or a chapter of science, concept-based education makes everything interesting.

The writer is registrar, KIIT College of Education Gurgaon