Dictionary definition of concept is an abstract idea or a thought or a notion or a mental representation of a thing or class of things. Concept has also the ability to classify many things under a common heading. They can be used to describe both concrete objects (like the Pacific Ocean) and abstract ideas (like work or time).
Generally instead of memorizing a concept, a learner needs to learn to use it to classify, analyze, make judgments, discriminate, or make relationships between it’s constituting parts. This means that learners need to process information and create new understanding.
Recall the learning theories we looked into that emphasized on the role of mental processes in learning – Cognitivism. This theory suggests that learners construct their own understanding of the world through actively processing and organizing new information.
The best tool is Concept Mapping. It involves creating a visual representation of the relationships between different ideas. It typically includes a main concept or idea, along with related concepts and examples, and shows how they are all connected. Additionally help learners to see the big picture and identify the defining characteristics by understanding which examples fit within the concept and which do not.
As IDs, use strategies such as:
- Providing examples and non-examples to help learners understand the defining characteristics of a concept.
- Using real-world situations to illustrate the relevance and application of the concept.
- Providing opportunities to apply the concept in different contexts or to solve problems
- Facilitating discussions and encouraging learners to ask questions and explore different perspectives.