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Moving Beyond Facts and Skills to Understanding and Transfer

Microsoft Teaching Happiness Concept-Bas
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Why move to Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction?


Educators often wonder:

  • How can I engage both the hearts and the minds of my students?

  • How can I help students find personal relevance in our curriculum?

  • How can I help my students develop into autonomous learners who question, problem solve, and think critically, creatively, conceptually, and reflectively?

  • How can I meet the intent of academic standards without sacrificing the development of intellectual character?

  • What is deep understanding, and how can I design teaching for higher order thinking and deeper understanding? 

  • How can I develop the brain schema so that new knowledge can be related efficiently to prior knowledge?

  • How do I create a lifelong love of learning in my students?


Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction is a three-dimensional model that utilizes facts, concepts, and skills to develop the intellect, deepen understanding, and facilitate the transfer of learning.


Quality Concept-Based units of instruction are coherent in their design- the different components support each other to ensure deep knowledge and understanding, knowledge connections and transfer, and quality performance.


Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction systematically increases thinking in our classrooms by explicitly structuring learning experiences to help students reach important transferable understandings. 

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