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CONCEPT-BASED UNIT DESIGN According to Dr. Lynn Erickson

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Presentation on theme: "CONCEPT-BASED UNIT DESIGN According to Dr. Lynn Erickson"— Presentation transcript:

1 CONCEPT-BASED UNIT DESIGN According to Dr. Lynn Erickson
Claudia Fayad – PYP Coordinator

2 The Workshop “Working the Conceptual Level Through the PYP, MYP and Diploma Programmes” Dr. Lynn Erickson Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom (2007) Stirring the Head, Heart and Soul: Redefining Curriculum and Instruction (2008)

3 The Aims How can the IB help us move from a two-dimensional to a more effective three-dimensional model for curriculum and instruction?

4 The Aims (II) How is knowledge structured, and how can we use this structure to focus teaching and learning, and significantly improve the academic performance of all students?

5 The Aims (III) What is a “conceptual lens”, and why is a conceptual lens essential to develop higher-level thinking and increased motivation for learning?

6 « There will not be a significant improvement in education until teachers (and administrators) understand the importance of concepts and conceptual understanding to intellectual development, deeper understanding, and student motivation for learning. » Dr. Lynn Erickson

7 Traditional curriculum is topic-based
Our Earth The sun The human body Space travel Desert animals Volcanoes The states of matter etc

8 Concepts, Principles and Generalisations
Two-Dimensional Curriculum Design Concepts, Principles and Generalisations Factual/Content vs Processes/Skills Factual/Content Processes/Skills Three-Dimensional Curriculum Design

9 Two-dimensional vs. Three-dimensional
COVERAGE –CENTERED, INTELLECTUALLY SHALLOW IDEA-CENTERED, INTELLECTUAL DEPTH “inch-deep, mile-wide” Lacks a conceptual focus to create a factual/conceptual brain synergy Facts provide a foundation to understand conceptual, transferrable ideas A “conceptual lens” or focus requires mental processing on the factual and conceptual levels—producing intellectual depth in thinking and understanding

10 Two-dimensional vs. Three-dimensional (II)

11 Two-dimensional vs. Three-dimensional (III)
Topic Fact Locked in time, place or situation Trivial—as compared to concepts BUT, you cannot understand a concept if you don’t have factual examples! Concept Generalisation Allows for transfer Universal Abstract

12 CONCEPTUAL LEVEL Generalisations Essential understandings Big ideas
Enduring understandings (Wiggins & McTighe) Universal generalizations Significant concept statements (MYP) Central Idea (PYP)

13 According to Dr. Lynn Erickson
A Concept-Based Unit According to Dr. Lynn Erickson

14 What makes a unit “concept-based”?
The conceptual/factual synergy built into the curricular design Concept-based units can be either transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary or intradisciplinary

15 Concept-based unit components
Title Conceptual lens Concepts and sub-concepts Generalisations (essential, enduring understandings) Guiding & essential questions Critical content Key skills Performance tasks & scoring guides Learning experiences Resources & teacher notes

16 Unit Title « The centering topic of study »
For the PYP: The TransdisciplinaryTheme

17 Conceptual Lens « A broad, integrating concept that acts as a conceptual filter for students to use in processing factual information. » Without a conceptual focus for content study, the intellectual work for the unit will be shallower Examples: perspective, change, conflict, etc. (Herein lies our “problem”!) 

18 Concepts & Subconcepts
« The macro- and micro-concepts that give transferable relevance to the study, and that are derived from the critical content. » « Concept: A mental construct which frames a set of examples sharing common attributes. Concepts are timeless, universal, abstract (to different degrees) and broad. Examples: cycles, addition, ratios, organisms, diversity. » For the PYP: KEY & Related Concepts

19 Generalisations (Enduring, Essential Understandings)
«Statements of transferable, conceptual understandings that are drawn from, and supported by, the critical content. » Because these ideas transfer, they cannot be specific to a time, place, person or location. These significant, conceptual, enduring ideas that students must understand at a deeper level as the result of the unit study For the PYP: Enduring Understandings

20 Guiding & Essential Questions
« Questions of different types (e.g., factual, conceptual, or essential (provocative) that guide student thinking from concrete to abstract levels. » For the PYP: Teacher Questions

21 Critical Content « The factual knowledge students must know in order to be competent with the topics of the unit. » For the PYP: Lines of Inquiry???

22 Key Skills « Skills that define what students must be able to do. »
Skills are transferable across situations. Units should isolate and name the transferable skills that are being taught and then employ those skills in learning experiences and assessments to be certain that they are taught and assessed. For the PYP: Transdisciplinary Skills

23 Performance Tasks & Scoring Guides
« Student performance tasks that demonstrate what students must know, understand, and be able to do in the unit. » Based on the Backwards Design model of Wiggins & McTighe teachers design the unit tasks—then design the learning experiences leading up to the performances. The idea is to set students up for success by teaching with the end in mind.

24 Performance Tasks & Scoring Guides (II)
« In a concept-based three dimensional model, the scoring guide addresses criteria describing quality performance for conceptual understanding as well as for content, knowledge and skills. » For the PYP: Performance Assessments & Rubrics Plan the other unit assessments (e.g., selected response, essay, etc.) to show evidence of learning.

25 Learning Experiences « The unit activities and student performances, supported by teacher lesson plans, that prepare students for success on the performance tasks, and that address the know, understand and able to do components in the unit. » For the PYP: Learning Experiences – Stage 4

26 Unit Resources & Teacher Notes
« A listing of the needed resources to carry out the unit instruction, and any helpful teacher notes. » For the PYP: Resources (Stage 5) Reflecting on the Inquiry (Stages 6 through 9)

27 Our “Problem”  OUR CHALLENGE, RATHER!

28 Concepts Abstract to different degrees Different levels of breadth
‘Intelligence’ is a concept ‘Transportation’ is either/or, depending on how you use it If used as a topic, ‘Movement’ would be the concept

29 Micro-Concepts and Macro-Concepts
Macro-concepts provide the transferability necessary for a transdisciplinary curriculum. Micro-concepts provide more discipline-specific conceptual breadth.

30 Sample Conceptual Lenses
Conflict Patterns System Complexity Relationships Balance Belief Origins Structure Paradox Change Function Interdependence Revolution Innovation Interactions Perspective Design Freedom Reform Genius Transformations Heroes Aesthetics Force Power Creativity Identity Influence Values

31 Dr. Erickson’s position
“The greatest concepts aren’t always the ones with the greatest transferability.” “You need discipline-specific depth and rigour—don’t overdo transdisciplinarity.” “Have a transdisciplinary Central Idea and supporting ideas, and also conceptual lenses, macro-concepts and micro-concepts.”

32 PYP World Programme* Head’s position
“Our the first organiser are the Transdisciplinary Themes.” “We (in the PYP) have one Central idea, and are beginning to write enduring understandings.” “The Key Concepts ensure transdisciplinarity in the PYP.” “The related concepts can be more discipline-specific.” (!) * Ms. Jennifer Giddings

33 The Compromise Transdisciplinary Theme Central Idea
Enduring Understandings KEY Concepts Related concepts* *Involve more disciplines for breadth, more discipline-related concepts, but do not sacrifice depth for it.

34 The Compromise (II) *There need not be one-to-one-correspondence between KEY and related concepts... *although every related concept needs to be tied to a KEY concept. *Therefore, you could have, say, 5 related concepts and 3 KEY ones.

35 The Proposal for us at CCB
Let’s not throw away the conceptual lenses that we already identified—and still find useful (The great transdisciplinarity of our current POI is an asset!) BUT let’s add more Key and related concepts to our units, so that we may give it more discipline-related breadth

36 Our task for the following days: 1
Our task for the following days: 1. Extract concepts from transdisciplinary content embedded in English programme 2. Identify KEY concepts for each one of those related concepts 3. Suggest 2 or 3 Transdisciplinary Themes for each English unit

37 Thank you!

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