Matching Assessment with Curriculum
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By Larry Mann
One way that teachers can help students solve problems in classes other than mathematics is through what Lynn Erickson calls concept-based instruction. "This is a way to get students to think beyond the facts and at higher levels than they generally do with instruction that is topically based," says Erickson, an education consultant in Mill Creek, Washington.
"Concept-based instruction simply means that you put a conceptual lens on a topic," Erickson says. For example, rather than merely studying the topic of "the media," she suggests that students might study the media as a persuasive force. Instead of studying the topic of textiles, students could apply a conceptual lens by learning about textiles as resources for trade, or trading patterns in textiles.
"It doesn't matter which topic you pick," says Erickson. "You can help students handle more new information by putting a conceptual lens on it." She explains that "thinking above and beyond the disciplines helps students see patterns and connections between critical content and transferable knowledge."
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