Inspired to read this book by a conversation by ELASCD and a discussion they were having about curriculum and instruction, I searched for work by the author H. Lynn Erickson (referred to, but not the speaker). To say I was even more inspired by this short but informative read is an understatement.
This book, ‘Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction’, was published in 2002. As I sit here thinking about an uncertain future in education, the points in this book seem even more relevant. Early in the book and on the last page there is an unlying theme – ‘Education also needs to examine its basic structures’.
Although there are specific examples and some over-arching ideas that are fundamental to this examination of the education, there are limited specifics. That being said, I found alot of places to underline and ideas to think about. I would definitely agree that this book is the initial step in the continuing deeper dive into content specific imagination of instruction.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is good information and many of us will be able to use the concrete steps and answers to their sub-heading questions to facilitate direct application. I know I’ll be sitting down to revisit the way I teach my specific class to create concept-based learning opportunities. These will definitely focus more on long-term learning and understanding rather than fact-focused learning – as the book points out these facts are still necessary for the foundation, but that is usually where we stop.
The book does go further to discuss interdisciplinary and whole school/district planful learning through concept integration. I can only dream of that future at this time. I will start with the ideas that are specific to my own class and maybe through personal, and more importantly student, growth we can initiat a bigger change.
Definitely, as mentioned, this is a good book to start with. There are other books published by the author (I have a couple on my shelf to read) that go deeper into subject-specific and work-group work – I’ll be using these to further the conversation.
Time to print out a calendar and my curriculum to start to figure out themes and concepts that can be applied within my subject area.