Concept-based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom
by Dr Lynn Erickson

18th - 19th May 2012, London
Lynn Erickson expands our understanding of the conceptual level of knowledge, thinking, and understanding. In this highly interactive session, Dr. Erickson will challenge your mind as she contrasts a three-dimensional concept-based curriculum and instruction model with the worn out two-dimensional coverage model. You will see and discuss DVD clips of three-dimensional, concept-based teachers instructing students in different grade levels and subject areas. You will learn specific, practical instructional strategies that guide inquiry, and engage the hearts and minds of students.

And you will learn answers to questions like these:

  • How is knowledge structured and how can we utilize that structure to develop the intellect?
  • How can we move to a three-dimensional curriculum and instruction model that allows us to compact the overloaded curriculum, and teach both factual and conceptual knowledge with greater depth and rigour?
  • What is a conceptual lens and how can we use it to develop higher levels of thinking and increased motivation for learning?
  • How can we design instruction to achieve synergistic thinking between the factual and conceptual levels of knowledge and understanding during the inquiry process?
  • How do we scaffold thinking to deeper levels?
  • How do we develop different kinds of guiding questions to support inquiry, and path thinking from the factual to the conceptual level of understanding?
  • What is the difference between an Activity and a Performance of Deep Understanding; and how do we design for deep understanding?
  • What does concept-based instruction “look like” in the classroom?
Concept-based curriculum and instruction is not a program. It leaves the design of curriculum and instruction to teachers, but informs and reinforces quality curriculum design and pedagogy.
Day 1
8.15 - 9.00   Registration
9:00 - 10:00 Our changing world: New paradigms for education
  • 21st century skills and knowledge
  • Coverage centered (2 dimensional) ) vs. idea-centered (3 dimensional) curriculum/instruction
  • The Structure of Knowledge: Teaching for deep understanding and the transfer of knowledge - Where should we ultimately target our teaching
10:00 - 10:30 Writing clear and powerful understandings to guide instruction Table Task
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:30 Scaffolding thinking from lower to higher levels – Table Task and Feedback
11:30 - 12:00 The power of a conceptual lens Stimulating “synergistic thinking” (factual conceptual interaction) – Key to quality inquiry
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45 - 1:15 Viewing a 3rd grade concept-based teacher—this is what it “looks like.”
1:15 - 2:15 Designing a concept-based unit of instruction: The integration of thinking in interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary units of instruction.
Steps 1 - 7
  • Step 1: Designing a Unit Web to identify key concepts and unit topics
2:15 - 2:30 Break
2:30 - 3:00  A “Bear Game” review of  the learning.
3:00 - 4:00 Select chapters from Concept-based Curriculum & Instruction for the Thinking Classroom by Lynn Erickson in groups of six. Read the assigned chapter and be prepared to share Key Points in a jigsaw the following morning. Participants may stay in the workshop to read the chapter, or read the chapter at home in the evening. It is critical that all participants be prepared to share in the morning.
Day 2
9:00 - 10:00 Chapter sharing and discussion from Concept-based Curriculum & Instruction for the Thinking Classroom
10:00 - 10:15 Questions and Answers from Lynn
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 11:15 Continue the design of a concept-based unit of instruction
  • Step 2 : Writing clear and powerful conceptual understandings (also known as Enduring or Essential Understandings, Central Ideas, Significant Concept Statements…)
11:15 - 11:40
  • Step 3 : Designing guiding questions to path student inquiry from the factual to the conceptual levels of understanding: Factual, Conceptual, and Provocative (Debate) Questions.
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45- 1:30
  • Step 4: Identifying critical content knowledge and key skills for a concept-based unit - Examples of KUD’s (Know, Understand, able to Do)
1:30 - 2:15
  • Step 5 : Writing a quality performance task - How to ensure a performance of deep understanding vs a lower level “activity”
2:15 - 2:30 Break
2:30 - 3:00
  • Step 6 : Designing the Scoring Guide
3:00 - 3:10
  • Step 7 : Designing learning experiences (Backwards Design) that address Know, Understand, and able to Do (Design backwards, but teach forward)
3:10 - 3:30 Create and share a visual representation bringing the components of concept-based into a meaningful composition Table Task
Potential Audience:
K-12 teachers, heads of school and assistants, curriculum and instruction coordinators/specialists, university instructors in teacher education.
Trainer’s Profile
Dr. Lynn Erickson is a private consultant assisting schools and districts nationally and internationally with curriculum design and instruction. During the past sixteen years Lynn has worked extensively with K-12 teachers and administrators on the design of classroom and district level curricula aligned to mandated curricula and standards.

Lynn is the author of three best-selling books, Stirring the Head, Heart and Soul: Redefining Curriculum and Instruction, 3rd edition  c. 2008, Concept-based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom, c. 2007, and Concept-based Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching Beyond the Facts, c. 2002 Corwin Press Publishers. She has a chapter in Robert Marzano’s book, On Excellence in Teaching, c. 2010, Solution Tree Press.

Lynn is a recognized presenter in the areas of concept-based curriculum design, teaching for deep understanding, and curriculum alignment. Erickson has worked as a teacher, principal, curriculum director, adjunct professor, and educational consultant over a 44 year career.

Lynn currently lives in Everett, Washington with her family. She and Ken have two children, and two grandsons, Trevor and Connor, who continually stir her heart and soul.
  Includes the book Concept-based Curriculum & Instruction for the Thinking Classroom by Lynn Erickson, Lunch 2 coffee breaks and a certificate of participation for 14 Professional Development Hours.
  £ 550/- Closing date 12th May 2012
  £ 500/- Early Bird offer 1st April 2012
  Thistle City Barbican Hotel
Central Street, Clerkenwell
London EC1V 8DS
  Shonal Agarwal

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