CONCEPT BASED LEARNING CURRICULUM : Supporting Parents to Understand the Benefits of a Concept Based Learning Curriculum.

As education evolves, it is essential to keep up with the changes to best support our children’s learning. The PYP is a concept based curriculum which focuses on deep understanding of fundamental concepts rather than memorisation of facts. While this approach has been widely adopted in many schools around the world, it can be challenging for parents to understand.

Recently, a workshop was held to help parents understand the principles of Concept-Based Curriculum and how it can enhance their children’s learning in the Primary Years Programme and beyond. The workshop was attended by enthusiastic parents who were engaged in learning tasks to develop their understanding in this area.

At the start of the workshop, parents were asked to make connections to their own education in the past and what schools looked like. They identified features of the traditional approach to education, which primarily relied on memorising facts, teachers doing all the talking and students just listening and lots of text book work. There were lots of conversations as groups sequenced images of classrooms over the decades, noting how quickly the changes have occurred recently compared to back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

The workshop covered important aspects of concept-based learning, such as identifying the Key Concepts and the related concepts explored in different units of inquiries and subjects. Parents participated in activities where they made connections between these concepts and real-life situations. Parents were able to see how this approach enables students to develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter, rather than just learning facts and figures. As the workshop progressed, and parents engaged in different learning experiences to support their understanding of concepts, they began to understand the benefits of Concept-Based Curriculum in enhancing learning that transfers.

One of the highlights of the workshop was the exit tickets that the parents completed. The exit tickets included a choice of I used to think and Now I think or a Freyer model. These demonstrated that the parents’ thinking had moved from the traditional aspects of education¬† they portrayed at the beginning of the workshop to their deeper understanding of concepts allowing for transfer of learning across subjects and new situations. The parents were enthusiastic about their newfound knowledge and were eager to support their children in their learning journey.

The workshop was an excellent opportunity for parents to learn about the benefits of Concept Based Learning.

Mary ann Van de Weerd

PYP Coordinator/JS Deputy Principal

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