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ERIC Number: EJ892268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0272
Conceptual Understandings as Transition Points: Making Sense of a Complex Social World
Milligan, Andrea; Wood, Bronwyn
Journal of Curriculum Studies, v42 n4 p487-501 2010
Teaching for conceptual understanding has been heralded as an effective approach within many curriculum frameworks internationally in an age of rapid and constant change around what counts as "knowledge". Drawing from research and experience within the social studies curriculum, this paper reflects on some of the largely unstated and unexplored aspects of adopting concept-based approaches to curriculum. The paper explores the historical and contemporary status and development of conceptual understandings that has led to teaching (at least within New Zealand social studies) that still remains largely focused on facts and topics. The nature of learning within the social sciences highlights a society which is not static and factual, but instead, complex and diverse. This paper presents a number of reasons why teaching conceptual understandings as inert facts or "end points" fails to prepare learners to understand and engage in a complex and rapidly changing social world. Instead, conceptual understandings must be understood as changeable, contextual, and contested. The paper considers how conceptual fluidity might be accommodated in teacher planning, arguing that conceptual understandings may more usefully be regarded as transition points in learning, rather than irrefutable destinations. (Contains 8 notes, 4 tables, and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand