Concept Development

From this model, students learn much from one another about the concept, object, event, or person studied.  They benefit from group work and the ideas of others, and while expanding and refining their own concepts of the topic being studied, they simultaneously are expanding and refining their mental abilities to complete this process.

1.       Have students list as many items as possible that are associated with the subject.  This identifies what students already know. (Prior knowledge).

2.       Group the items because they are alike in some way.  An important part of learning is being able to identify qualities.

3.       Label the groups by defining the reasons for grouping.  This gets students to articulate the relationships between the items, and thusly defines what students know.

4.       Regroup or subsume individual items or whole groups under other groups.  This step involves looking at items from different perspectives as well as analyzing.

5.       Synthesize the information by summarizing the data and forming generalizations.  Ask students to look over the board and see if they can make a general statement or generalization about the subject in briefest terms possible.  Here students must synthesize the information.

6.       Evaluate students’ progress by assessing their ability to generate a wide variety of items and to group those items flexibly.  The students’ progress in performing important mental processes such as analyzing, synthesizing, generalizing, and particularizing is just as important, if not more so, than the actual content being learned.