FLoW21: Target 3 Explained


Target 3: Concept-based Curriculum

The deepest understanding you can have of something is the conceptual understanding. 'Understanding' is added depth to a student's knowing and doing. To 'understand' means you are able to use your skills and knowledge in new and unrelated real-world contexts.


Students can understand skills and knowledge better if they can apply them to real-world situations; they can impact real-world situations with a conceptual understanding of their skills and knowledge.

It may be easier to understand concept-based learning when you contrast it to topic-based learning. The difference is learning about World War II (topic) vs the concept of conflict; studying Shakespeare's Hamlet vs exploring relationships and decision-making. Knowing how to solve a math equation address the skills and knowledge. Understanding how that equation can be used in real situations and to solve new problems demonstrates conceptual understanding.

So let's take a look at what it means for our stakeholders:


For students, having a conceptual understanding means knowing where, how, and why acquired skills and knowledge apply across subjects and in real-world situations.

For teachers, this target means leading with a big idea and then asking question that will guide thoughtful exploration relevant to the learner.

For parents, this means better supporting their child's application of skills and knowledge to the real-world. If a parent recognizes their child is passionate about ecosystems and biology, they can guide them a local conservation organization or help plan and implement recycling programs in their local communities.

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