Concept-based Learning: General Tips to Parents
By Andrew Loh
Child experts believe that more than 60% of a child's brain
development and capacity occurs within the first 6 years of life.
However, what really changes that ability is whether your child
undergoes a stimulating, encouraging and thought enhancing ambience
while growing. To stimulate brain development in toddlers and young
children, you will need to supply and give a highly stimulating and
progressive learning environment right through the early years. As
your child grows up, he or she will undergo a number of situations
and scenarios that provide ample inputs that eventually help in
forming a particular type of personality. Incidentally, most of the
children learn by relating or tying certain ideas and suggestions
with their experiences and life. In many cases, your child may use a
number of concepts to learn lessons and draw conclusions.
Concept based learning is actually a new concept to many of the
parents worldwide. Child psychologists and counselors agree
unanimously that concept based learning is better than conventional
classroom based system of learning. However, concept based learning
is actually tricky process that may pose a number of challenges to
Simply speaking, concept based learning is an intricate process when
parents and teachers involve their children and students to learn
things and events in an effective manner. Also called inquiry based
learning, the process of learning through concepts leads to better
understanding, enhanced thinking process and better attitudes.
Inquiry or concept based learning is a natural process that every
one of us possesses and practice. It is just that we are not really
tuned to use this inherent power to achieve better results and
What is inquiry?
In nutshell, inquiry is the delicate process of searching for truth,
better knowledge and updated information, all by using the ultimate
power of questioning, inquiring or probing. All individuals use the
process of inquiry throughout their life, from their birth to death.
Infants start to come to the grasp of their surroundings by
inquiring; all infants have the uncanny ability to observe faces
that come near them in a probing manner, they can even try to grasp
objects to feel them and later put them in their mouth. Growing
infants always carry on this process by assimilating information and
knowledge. However, the power of inquiry in small children is still
rudimentary and primitive.
Examples: Babies and toddlers have very poor sense of time and they
cannot understand the importance of time as an important dimension
of life. For them, the concept of time is alien and strange.
However, parents can easily use a number of time related activities
and exercises to teach their children the importance of time as a
concept. Bring home a traditional, analog clock and show your
children how the second and minute hands go around and the clock
makes chiming sound when the minute hand reaches a particular point.
Your child will like to feel the sound of the clock, try to hold the
clock with his or her hand, gaze at the clock dial and try to assess
and evaluate the emerging image in the brain.
An analogue clock is a great device to teach your children concept
based ideas and activities. One of the best concept based learning
process is to involve your children in one of those classic time-out
games. You can ask your young child to pick up some scattered
objects within predetermined time; using the alarm feature of the
clock is a very useful way to set time put challenges.
Ask your child to pick up maximum number of objects from the floor
before the alarm bell goes off.
Ask your child to write maximum numbers of alphabets or numbers
before the set alarm bell.
Play a pretending clock game by showing an imaginary clock and show
events that relate to daily activities like breakfast time, meal
time, bathing time or sleep time.
Better thinking skills
Better processing skills
Enhancement of cognitive skills
Better motor organ control
Improved learning process vs difficult concepts
Caution: Concept based learning is process of repetition.
Integrate this wonderful process into your child's everyday routine
so that he or she can understand what is so important about
concepts. Your child will take his or her own time to grasp the
subject and you may not like to rush things in a hasty manner.
Introduce small concepts that are easy to understand and grasp. Let
the lessons be easy and simple.
Be consistent whenever you introduce a particular concept. Let the
concept that you introduce be uniform and consistent.
Be an active player and involve yourself by working with your child
Brightly colored balls and spheres
Blocks, stacking and nesting play toys
Color crayons or ink markers
Paints, water colors and 3-D pastes
Different animal or people shapes and dolls
Toy cars, motors, models and trains
Simple puzzles and colored board games
Activity toys like push, pull and drag toys
Finally, just remember that beneficial application of inquiry or
concept based learning involves a number of factors like setting up
a context for asking questions, creating a framework for these
questions, bringing up focus and later creating different stages of
questions. Questions are the heart and soul of concept based