What is it?
Concept development refers to teachers’ ways of making learning conceptual and facilitating children’s broader understanding of concepts and ideas, rather than concentrating solely on role instruction and recall of facts. Effective concept development provides children with opportunities to use analysis and reasoning in their approach to problems, to be creative and generate their own ideas and products, and to understand their world through experimentation and brainstorming. Concept development also describes an intentional approach by the teacher to tie together concepts across activities and bring concepts to life by applying them to children’s everyday worlds.
Why is it important?
Effective concept development strategies and questions help children obtain a deeper understanding of concepts and develop analytical thinking skills. Children learn more and understand concepts better when teachers provide opportunities for them to analyze and problem-solve, rather than just memorize and recite facts. Concept development strategies also contribute to children’s interest in exploration and ability to apply knowledge to the real world.
Click the links below to access multiple resources specifically related to the Concept Development dimension made available from the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) and other sources.
- Fostering Children’s Thinking Skills
- Making Learning Meaningful
- Using the Scientific Method
- Engaging Children in Conversations
- Asking Questions
- Novel Words