What is Concept-Based Education?
By Andrew Loh
Children often find it very difficult to encounter or face certain
concepts that are not really applicable to their lives. Learning
concepts that are not in resonance with your child's psyche could be
a daunting task. Neither child-centered learning nor hands-on
learning may ever provide good results while undergoing daily
learning process. In fact, knowing a concept is being able to learn
and understand the basic aspects and later applying it to real life
situations; children are known to perform better in their classes
when they can tie a number of concepts to their real life experiences.
When it comes to learning, children can encounter a number of
different concepts in their life. Concept based education or
Concept based instruction is a novel means of organizing various units of study to
help children gel and integrate new type of information in such a
manner that children are able to see and identify a number of
patterns, situations or even connections between facts and concepts
or ideas. In essence, with concept based learning, your child will
learn to ask a significant question to oneself - Why should I learn
When you train your child to learn by using this method, he or she
Know, learn, understand and master rather than just memorize and
learn things by heart.
Learn to recognize and identify the importance of certain things and
later tie them up to match and relate to real life situations.
Learn to remember and master ideas and facts longer by understanding
that they are really meaningful.
Learn to create connections between various subjects like Math,
Arts, Science, Social Studies and Languages.
Learn, understand and apply a number of ideas to match their own
Establish an efficient method to deal effectively with knowledge and
skills that may become available in the future.
Concept based learning is all about learning by using very
big ideas and suggestions.
What are big ideas in front of your child?
In essence, many of the gifted and bright children are actually
global or universal thinkers. These children always want to see and
understand the big picture before tackling the minute details. Such
children have the uncanny knack of setting up connections between
people, ideas, suggestions and prevailing ambiences. These children
also have the ability to transfer available skills, knowledge and
ideas to a number of different settings.
1. Relate color patterns with that of birds, butterflies and flowers
and later use a definite pattern to solve some intricate problems
2. Remember a particular sequence of events to establish a
connection with remembering some numbers or alphabets.
Concept based learning helps your child to become big thinkers and
problem solvers. This technique will also help your child to escape
the monotony of learning things by sheer memory. With this wonderful
technique, your child can also understand and solve a number of
complex problems by using the power of common sense.
Different types of concepts
Different concepts can have different characteristics like:
Abstract concept: These concepts help you child to think at
very high levels. When your child understands the basics of abstract
concepts, he or she can understand the concept in a better manner.
Your child can dissect and process his or her ambience or world with
a sense of purpose.
Example: Your child knows that almost leaves in a plant or tree are
green. In fact, every child in this world knows that most of the
leaves are green in color. This is perhaps the most ordinary level
of thinking. On the flipside, when your child understands why leaves
are green and what factors make it green in color, then he or she
can relate these bits of information to create a stream of thoughts
and ideas that help to solve a number of other problems.
Timeless Concepts: Basic concepts need to remain the same
through the realms of time. Many a time, concepts can change over
time making it very difficult for your child to relate them to
Example: Your child can easily understand that something can exist,
even when it's out of his or her sight. This new and fresh knowledge
will cajole your baby to search actively for an object that you may
have partially hidden somewhere in the room. It will also urge your
child to just drop objects by the crib or table and watch as you
retrieve them with your own hands. After seeing this, your child
will be learning that the missed object actually exists even after
it's has gone out of his or her sight.
Universal Concepts: There are a number of truths that are
easy to apply across a number of realms and domains. When you child
understands this basic concept, he or she can derive and draw a
number of connections and apply them to different areas of their
Examples: When you small child watches a wildlife show on TV, she or
he can relate the visuals to a number of things. For example, when
your child sees a polar bear roaming around snow capped landmass, it
triggers a connection in the brain that instantly derives a
connection that bears live in the wild, among snows and in bitter
cold. She or he will also connect the bear to the big environment
that exists outside.
Your child comes across a number of concepts, ideas and thinking
processes that help him or her to learn and understand a number of
principles and lessons that will help in future to lead a life of