Concept formation


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A presentation given in a doctoral class at Nova Southeastern University on Instructional Leadership, July 6, 2012.

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Concept formation

  1. 1. Formation throughInductive Thinking A Lesson Strategy for a Conceptual Curriculum
  2. 2. Where do ideas come from?
  3. 3. Sources of ideas Sensory learning – using our senses to explore and arrive at knowledge or understanding (Amorino, 2007). Constructive activity – making connections between what we perceive (Amorino, 2007; Hesse, 1989). Using open-ended problem solving – creating solutions (Wang, et al., 2009). When people make generalizations about a set of data (Bennet&Rolheiser, 2008).
  4. 4. Can we recreate conditions whichprovoke conceptual thinking?
  5. 5. The Inquiry Cycle INQUIRY (Asking) REFLECTION ACTION (Thinking) (Doing) (International Baccalaureate, 2008)
  6. 6. Inquiry uses concept formation forlearning Learners are presented with a data set Learners examine the data set items for common attributes Learners are asked to generalize among items in the data set, coming up with ideas of how these items are connected and what general idea they express or exemplify(Bilica& Flores, 2009; International Baccalaureate, 2008; Reid, 2011)
  7. 7. Application of Inductive Strategy Science inquiry lessons Students examine facts, data or visual information and form generalizations about observations. Generalizations are based on critical attributes of the data set. In science, teachers use an inductive method for students to form scientific concepts(Reid, 2011)
  8. 8. Can this strategy transfer tosubjects other than science?
  9. 9. Inductive Strategy in subjectsother than Science Teachers can use complex and realistic problems in their lessons Complex thinking is independent of language Scaffolding can be used to teach students how to think inductively(Felder & Prince, 2007)
  10. 10. Inductive Thinking across thecurriculum Taking exemplars from the content area and using them as data sets Using analytical skill to reach generalizations about the data sets Data sets can be visual, text-based, or actual objects(Hesse, 1989; Reid, 2011; Tishman, 2008)
  11. 11. Robertson‟s Process in Lessonsusing inductive thinking strategy Starts with EXPLORATION where teacher engages students in activities designed to set up understanding of a concept. In this phase, students draw generalizations from a data set.(Robertson, 2007)
  12. 12. Robertson‟s Process phase 2 Phase 2 of the process is EXPLANATION, where students use activities to explain the new concept. This phase is where the teacher introduces the students to the lexicon related to the concept, the vocabulary that they will need to discuss that concept. For example, we using the termsinquiry, generalizations, questioning, data set to talk about concept formation using inductive thinking.(Robertson, 2007)
  13. 13. Robertson‟s Process phase 3 The third phase of the process is ELABORATION, where students are engaged in more activities to reinforce understanding of the concept. Here the teacher may present more examples, some that are examples of the concepts, and others that are non- examples. This is used to clarify and cement understanding of the characteristic attributes of the concept.(Robertson, 2007)
  14. 14. An example using literature PHASE 1 EXPLORATION The teacher gives students a data set consisting of different extracts from fiction and asks the question, “What makes a piece of literature literary?” Students then have to draw on prior learning, and the data set, to come up with generalizations. Generalizations are written down for future use.(Hesse, 1989)
  15. 15. An example using literature,phase 2 In phase 2 EXPLANATION, the teacher may ask the students to do the following: Compare and contrast the extracts with previous literature that students think are literary Come up with a list of characteristics of what literary pieces of text are Explain why one of the extracts or more is literary or non- literary based on the characteristics Justify choices by illustrating from specific examples The teacher may teach literature terms while students engage in these activities
  16. 16. An example using literature,phase 3 In ELABORATION, the teacher may present other text types such as travel writing, diary entries, greeting cards, etc mixed with literary text types such as poetry, short fiction, vignettes The activity may ask students to come up with attributes of the concept “literary” using these new data sets. Interspersed with these activities might be clarification of the concept using other strategies such as cooperative learning, academic controversy, scaffolding to reinforce the concept formation.
  17. 17. Summary • What for? • How? Concept Formation • Process Using inductive • Integration thinking • Impact
  18. 18. Classroom Impact  Integration (through concepts and skills) with other subject areas  Form original ideas  Improve conceptual thinking  Discover and engage in learning  Meaning-oriented approach  Self-directed learning  Student is at the center of the lesson(Amorino, 2007; Bilica& Flores, 2009; Felder & Prince, 2007; Hesse, 1989;Reid, 2011)
  19. 19. ReferencesAmorino, J. (2007). Classroom educators learn more about teaching and learning from the arts. Phi Delta Kappan, 90(3), 190-195.Bennet, B. &Rolheiser, C. (2008). Beyond Monet: The artful science of instructional integration. Toronto, Ontario: Bookation.Bilica, K. & Flores, M. (F 2009). Inductive and deductive science thinking; A model for lesson development. Science Scope, 36-41.Brown-Jeffy, S. & Cooper, J. E. (2011). Toward a conceptual framework of culturally revelant pedagogy: An overview of the conceptual and theoretical literature. Teacher Education Quarterly, Winter, 65-84.Felder, R. & Prince, M. (O 2007). The case for inductive teaching. Prism, 17(2), 55.Hesse, D. (N 1989). Canon and critical thinking. English Journal, 78(7), 16-22.
  20. 20. Heubner, T. (N 2008). Balancing the concrete and the abstract. Educational Leadership, 66(3), 86-87.International Baccalaureate (2008). From Principles Into Practice. Cardiff, Wales: Author.Reid, B. (J 2011). The concept attainment strategy. The Science Teacher, 51-55.Robertson, B. (J 2007). Getting past „inquiry versus content.‟ Educational Leadership, 64(4), 67-70.Tishman, S. (F 2008). The object of their attention. Educational Leadership, 65(5), 44-46.Wang, J., Wang, Y., Tai, H. & Chen, W. (2009). Investigating the effectiveness of inquiry-based instruction on students with different prior knowledge and reading abilities. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8, 801-820.