To meet the demands of our rapidly changing world, our students must be able to think deeply about issues, solve problems creatively, work in teams, communicate with clarity in many media, learn constantly-evolving technologies, and handle a flood of information. To survive, students will need to take initiative, lead as needed, be flexible, and produce something new and useful.
Conceptual understanding help students go beyond memorization of facts and skills.
“These conceptual understandings transfer through time, across cultures, and across situations, which supports the ability to see patterns and connections between similar ideas, events, or issues.” (Erickson & Lanning 2013)
Key concepts are the lenses through which the content is taught. When used in the form of key questions by teachers, they provide the direction and purpose for the units of inquiry. When used by the students, they allow them to develop and deepen their understanding.