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ERIC Number: EJ912184
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
Structuring the Curriculum around Big Ideas
Alleman, Janet; Knighton, Barbara; Brophy, Jere
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v23 n2 p25-29 Nov-Dec 2010
This article provides an inside look at Barbara Knighton's classroom teaching. She uses big ideas to guide her planning and instruction and gives other teachers suggestions for adopting the big idea approach and ways for making the approach easier. This article also represents a "small slice" of a dozen years of collaborative research, development, and reflection on teaching conducted by a team consisting of a researcher on teaching, a social studies educator, and an elementary teacher. Here the authors focus on powerful (often referred to as "big") ideas. It has special relevance in situations where teachers are working to establish an initial knowledge base when elementary students' prior knowledge is limited and disconnected. This teacher-researcher collaborative team provides examples of classroom dialogue showing how to help students see connections between things, and to think about how knowledge can be applied to their lives.
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A