1. The implementation of Bloom's taxonomy is the basis of the concept-based unit plan. Bloom's taxonomy makes learning easier as it focuses on the cognitive abilities of a learner. It enables a student to acquire the specific knowledge required for the process of learning. Through concept-centered learning, a teacher can promote contextual development of knowledge and skills, therefore, increasing the likelihood of both mastery and retention.
The main component of the concept-based unit plan is the basic identification of information (Baran et al, n.d.). This includes grade, discipline/topic area, and unit designer. It provides a brief abstract of the unit to be tackled by the end of the development.
The second component of the concept-based unit is the unit summary. The unit summary exists so that the unit developed may provide readers with a brief abstract of the unit (Baran et al, n.d.). This is usually written at the end of the development process.
The third component is the conceptual map. The conceptual map provides a teacher and a student with an advanced organizer of the concept and enduring understanding of the unit (Baran et al, n.d.). It identifies the standards of the lifelong learner and mental habits that will be addressed in a particular lesson identified as the discipline-level framework.
The fourth component is the grade-level framework. This identifies content standards, essential understanding, and questions of the unit (Baran et al, n.d). It offers the glue which connects all the content. It is by the basis of the grade level framework that the design of assessments, teaching, and learning strategies uphold.
Within the framework, the following must be accounted for: a generalization of the topic, the concept that is being focused on, enduring understandings (a deeper level of understanding of the topic), and essential questions. Generalization of the topic involves a brainstorming session with students in an attempt to identify the concept. It establishes an interdisciplinary connection between the different topics. Moreover, it establishes a realistic view of the lesson and its significance in the cultural context. The establishment of enduring understanding sharpens the focus of a unit for both an educator and a student, stating clearly what is to be learned rather than simply identifying the area or topic of inquiry, resulting in a deeper level of understanding (Baran et al, n.d). The essential questions are usually open-ended to create understanding through to adulthood.
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2. The topic-centered model of curriculum design is phased out by the idea/concept-centered approach. The topic-centered model relied heavily on traditional objectives that insisted on the learner's list, define, identify, and explain important fact-based information (Erickson, 2002). The assumption propagated in the topic-centered approach was that a learner will develop deeper ideas about the already taught topic.
The concept-based curriculum model shifts the focus from memorization to understanding. The curriculum approach focuses on deeper conceptual ideas that use fact to support understanding (Erickson, 2002). Through the concept process, teachers can identify and teach transferable ideas. The classroom topics transform into building blocks for the development of increasingly sophisticated ideas. Students develop a mental schema that helps them to pattern and sort information (Erickson, 2002). Progress is identified in grades as students can relate new examples to past learning thus facilitating the building of conceptual structures.
The adoption of structured lessons enforces the acquisition of a new skill. The skill is thinking beyond the topic and facts. The enforced use of generalization translates to transferable knowledge that engages a student in a deeper learning process. For a teacher, the adoption of the concept unit plans ensures understanding of the disciplines. It is applied effectively in the teaching process which includes the development of student-centered lessons (Harris, Mishra & Koehler, 2009). Moreover, the assessment chosen will be based on the student's ability to transform facts into applicable ideas.
3. Conceptual-based lessons improve teacher instruction as they offer a connection that enforces curriculum mapping. Curriculum mapping provides a framework for an educator to ensure that the educational experiences of individual students relate to the performance standards of each student (Harris, Mishra & Koehler, 2009). Conceptual-based lessons offer a powerful tool that increases professionalism. Through the idea-centered approach, students are enforced with lifelong skills. This is because a teacher offers a relation of topics to realistic situations instead of memorization of facts.
The order of content guides teaching prices. Through the concept-based approach, the lesson adopts a step-by-step approach that enforces well-set out lessons. Moreover, the lessons are related to one another, so that they are in sequences. The order enables the teacher to develop yearlong maps that include lesson components, data collection, and teaching strategies. It encourages innovation that turns lessons into interesting idea creation centers. The use of the conceptual-based framework provides educators with the ability to ensure that the educational experiences of individual students are of high quality. This reflects on the student's grade performance. The approach ensures that the educator assesses the lessons learned.
Through the idea-based curriculum approach, the simulation of real-life situations establishes the use of a student-centered approach. This enforces the spirit of working together in the classroom setting. Moreover, the approach encourages peer learning, which places the teacher as a moderator in classroom discussions. The concept-based approach works in the improvement of lessons as well as student performance. Teacher performance also increases, thus ensuring rising standards in the teaching profession.
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