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Concept-Based Inquiry in Action
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Concept-Based Inquiry in Action
Strategies to Promote Transferable Understanding

First Edition


June 2018 | 368 pages | Corwin

"This is exactly what my school needs right now to support colleagues to build on the foundations of our written concept-based curriculum and to take-off our taught curriculum to the next - and highest - levels."
Neville Kirton, Deputy Head of Secondary
Colegio Anglo Colombiano, Bogota, Colombia


"Filled with strategies, illustrations, diagrams, and pictures, this book really gives you the insight you need to help students better understand what they are learning. So many great ideas that can be used in any classroom. A must read for all educators."
Amanda McKee, 9th, Algebra/Geometry, Secondary Certified Instructor/Mentor
Johnsonville High School, Johnsonville, SC

Create a thinking classroom that helps students move from the factual to the conceptual

All students deserve the opportunity to think conceptually. But seeing conceptual relationships does not come naturally to every student. How can teachers construct thinking classrooms where students can move from the factual to the conceptual level of thinking?

Concept-Based Inquiry in Action has the answers. In this book, the authors marry theory with practice to create a new framework for inquiry that promotes deep understanding: Concept-Based Inquiry. The key is helping students to inquire into concepts and the relationships between them using guiding questions developed by the teacher, the students themselves, or by the teacher and students together. Step by step, the authors lead both new and experienced educators to implement teaching strategies that support the realization of inquiry-based learning for understanding in any K–12 classroom.

The book and its accompanying website are rich with the resources necessary to facilitate the construction and transfer of conceptual understanding, including

  • Numerous practical teaching strategies, aligned to each phase of Concept-Based Inquiry, that can be modified for diverse populations
  • Visual notes that represent significant ideas discussed within each chapter
  • Videos of instructional strategies and teacher interviews that show Concept-Based Inquiry in action in K–12 classrooms around the world
  • Templates of graphic organizers, sample anchor charts, and blackline masters that support the use of teaching strategies in the classroom
  • Planners that show how the phases of Concept-Based Inquiry come together in a unit

In a world filled with complexity, the role of the teacher as a facilitator of conceptual understanding has never been more pressing. Concept-Based Inquiry in Action provides teachers with the tools necessary to organize and focus student learning around concepts and conceptual relationships that support deep understanding.

 
Foreword by H. Lynn Erickson and Lois A. Lanning
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
About the Illustrator
 
Introduction
 
Chapter 1: The Foundations of Concept-Based Inquiry
Bringing Together Inquiry-Based and Concept-Based Learning

 
 
Part 1: Exploring Inquiry-Based Learning
Inquiry Approaches in Concept-Based Inquiry

 
 
Part 2: Exploring Concept-Based Learning
Concepts as Organizers

 
The Structures of Knowledge and Process

 
Disciplines Draw From Knowledge and Process

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 2: Concept-Based Inquiry
A Model of Concept-Based Inquiry

 
The Phases of Concept-Based Inquiry

 
The Complexity of Inquiry

 
Concept-Based Inquiry and the Inductive Approach

 
Creating a Culture of Concept-Based Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 3: Planning for Concept-Based Inquiry
What Planning Steps Support Concept-Based Inquiry?

 
How Can Teachers Enhance Their Understanding of a Unit?

 
What Role Do Guiding Questions Play in Concept-Based Inquiry?

 
What Do the Phases of Concept-Based Inquiry Look Like in a Unit?

 
Pacing in Concept-Based Inquiry

 
How Do the Phases of Inquiry Support Teacher Planning for Concept-Based Inquiry?

 
What Are Approaches for Making Interdisciplinary Links?

 
Connecting to the Phases of Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 4: Engage
Activating Prior Knowledge Using Engagement Strategies

 
Using Strategies to Motivate Students

 
Initial Questions, Initial Thinking

 
Rethinking Our Use of Engagement Strategies

 
Opinion-Based Strategies

 
Experiential Strategies

 
Discussion-Based Strategies

 
Assessment in the Engage Phase

 
Connecting Phases of Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 5: Focus
Using Concept Formation Strategies to Focus an Inquiry

 
Concepts Provide Breadth and Depth

 
Levels of Conceptual Thinking

 
Effective Concept Formation Practices

 
Concept Formation Strategies: Deductive and Inductive Approaches

 
Choosing Concept Formation Strategies

 
Assessment in the Focus Phase

 
Connecting Phases of Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 6: Investigate
The Power of Factual Examples

 
Case Study Approaches

 
Focus on Skill Development

 
A Preface to Strategies

 
Assessment in the Investigate Phase

 
Connecting Phases of Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 7: Organize
Making Meaning Using Organizers

 
Cognitive Load Theory and the Importance of Organizing

 
Representation and Conceptual Understanding

 
Sharing Findings as a Community of Inquirers

 
A Preface to Strategies

 
Assessment in the Organize Phase

 
Connecting Phases of Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 8: Generalize
An Inductive Approach to Generalizing

 
Developing Strong Generalizations

 
Scaffolding Thinking

 
The Value of Recording Generalizations

 
The Importance of Discussion

 
A Preface to Strategies

 
Assessment in the Generalize Phase

 
Connecting Phases of Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 9: Transfer
Transfer That Deepens Understanding

 
Testing and Justifying Generalizations

 
Understanding New Events and Situations

 
Predicting and Hypothesizing

 
Applying Learning

 
Taking Action

 
Assessment in the Transfer Phase

 
Connecting Phases of Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 10: Reflect
The Power of Reflection

 
The Reflective Cycle

 
Building Agency

 
Reflection Throughout the Inquiry

 
Assessing Reflection Throughout the Inquiry

 
Connecting Phases of Inquiry

 
Pause and Reflect

 
 
Chapter 11: Concluding Thoughts
A Vision for Thinking Classrooms

 
Understand and Adapt

 
 
Resources
Resource A. Concept-Based Inquiry Glossary of Terms

 
Resource B. Concept-Based Inquiry Planner

 
Resource C. Sample Concept-Based Inquiry Planner: Industrialization Unit

 
 
References
 
Index

"For all its pedagogical purity, concept-based learning continues, no doubt, to perplex in practice. This book synchronizes concept and inquiry-based learning, demystifying the theories that underpin them and providing a wealth of practical classroom strategies that, ultimately, serves to deepen students’ conceptual understandings. This is exactly what my school needs right now to support colleagues to build on the foundations of our written concept-based curriculum and to take-off our taught curriculum to the next - and highest - levels."

Neville Kirton, Deputy Head of Secondary
Colegio Anglo Colombiano, Bogota, Colombia

"I feel that this is a book that is timely and needed for a clearer picture of Concept-based Inquiry in action.  This is a manuscript that educators would be able to pick up, understand, and apply into the classroom."

Brenda Booth, Coordinator of Consultant Teachers, Concept-Based Trainer
Burlington-Edison School District, Burlington, WA

"Filled with strategies, illustrations, diagrams, and pictures, this book really gives you the insight you need to help students better understand what they are learning. So many great ideas that can be used in any classroom. A must read for all educators."

Amanda McKee, 9th, Algebra/Geometry, Secondary Certified Instructor/Mentor
Johnsonville High School, Johnsonville, SC

"It’s not every day that you read educational literature that you know will immediately have an impact on developing and improving your teaching practice. This book is like a guide that will lead you through the steps to becoming a better Concept-Based teacher. It is a book that teachers will take to planning meetings, have open, and refer to everyday. Just as a travel guide leads you too new discoveries this book will lead you to new discoveries with Concept-Based Inquiry. With this book you will see change and success in not only your teaching practice but also the understanding that the students will have in their learning."

Trudy McMillin, Grade 5 PYP teacher, Lower School Maths Coordinator
Thuringia International School

This text will be adopted for summer 2020.

Dr Jamalee Stone
College Of Education, Black Hills State University
October 16, 2018

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

Foreword

Introduction

Chapter 2


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ISBN: 9781506391298

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