How do you teach conceptual learning?

Dr. Adarsh Jha

June 6, 2023

Teaching is not just about transferring knowledge from one person to another. It’s about helping students develop a deep understanding of concepts and how to apply them in different situations. Conceptual learning is crucial for students to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and creative individuals who can adapt to the ever-changing world. How do you teach conceptual learning?

But teaching conceptual learning can be challenging. It requires teachers to go beyond memorization and encourage students to think critically, make connections, and analyze information. This article explores strategies and tips for teaching conceptual learning.

Start with real-life examples

One of the best ways to teach conceptual learning is by starting with real-life examples. Students are more likely to grasp new ideas when they can relate them to something they already know. For example, if you’re teaching mathematical concepts, use everyday scenarios to explain the idea. This could be anything from calculating the cost of groceries to estimating the total time it would take to complete a task.

Encourage questions and discussions

Conceptual learning is all about understanding the why behind the what. Encourage your students to ask questions and engage in discussions about the topic. This will help them better understand the concept and how it applies to different situations.

To foster discussions, create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions. You can also use various discussion techniques like group work, debate, or brainstorming sessions.

Use visual aids

Visual aids, such as diagrams, charts, and videos, can help students understand complex concepts better. They provide a visual representation of the information, making it easier for students to visualize and remember the idea.
When using visual aids, ensure they are clear, concise, and relevant to the topic. Avoid cluttering the graphic aids with too much information, as it may confuse students.

Connect the dots

Help your students connect the dots between different concepts. When teaching a new idea, relate it to something they already know. For instance, if you’re teaching algebraic equations, link it to basic arithmetic concepts they learned earlier.

Connecting the dots will help students see how different concepts are related and how they can be applied in different situations.

Encourage creativity

Please encourage your students to think creatively and apply their knowledge uniquely. This will help them develop problem-solving skills and innovative solutions to real-world problems.

To encourage creativity, provide opportunities for students to express themselves, such as through creative writing, art projects, or presentations.

Use formative assessments

Formative assessments are an excellent way to check for understanding and evaluate student progress. Unlike summative assessments, typically given at the end of a unit or term, formative assessments are ongoing and provide feedback to teachers and students.

Some examples of formative assessments include class discussions, quizzes, exit tickets, and self-reflection exercises. Use these assessments to identify areas where students may be struggling and adjust your teaching strategies accordingly.

Incorporate technology

Technology can be a powerful tool for teaching conceptual learning. Several apps, software, and online resources can make learning more engaging and interactive.
For example, you can use interactive whiteboards to represent the concept visually and allow students to interact with the information. You can also use gamification techniques, such as educational games and simulations, to make learning fun and engaging.

In conclusion, teaching conceptual learning can be challenging, but it’s essential for students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. Start by using real-life examples, encouraging questions and discussions, and incorporating visual aids. Connect the dots between different concepts, promote creativity, use formative assessments, and incorporate technology to make learning more engaging and interactive. Following these strategies and tips can help your students develop a deep understanding of concepts they can apply in different situations.