CBCI for the Thinking Classroom 

As an educator, I agree with the need to tie classroom instruction to practical applications. CBCI emphasizes this because students are better able to understand the relevance of what they are learning as a result, and learning becomes more meaningful. Also, in CBCI, the teacher’s position changes from that of the sole information source to that of the facilitator and guide. Students can actively engage with subjects and build their comprehension in the environments that teachers design. This is important, especially for students in junior high. They are at the age where they start taking on responsibility for their own education. There is less handholding and parental involvement. As a teacher, I want to guide my students to learn, not directly hand them the tools to mindlessly get a task done. 

Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction centers on a notion or concept that directs a unit in education. CBCI gives educators the chance to go deeply into a subject rather than just convey a concept’s surface level. The goal of CBCI is to give students the chance to deeply and purposefully interact with the subject matter. This is a new way of teaching and learning that puts an emphasis on ideas instead of just facts and skills. Concepts are the big ideas, overarching themes, and universal principles that connect different pieces of information. CBCI puts these ideas at the center of education and pushes students to explore, ask questions, and try to figure out how the world works from their point of view. The top three reasons educators, parents, students, etc. should be excited about CBCI are that it enhances student critical thinking skills, equips students with skills applicable to the real world, and prepares students to face challenges in the future. 

I plan to create a strong argumentative unit plan that will aid students in the 7th grade in developing their argumentation abilities as well as a deeper comprehension of the concept and its application to their daily lives. The process to develop this unit plan will take some time. Some of the factors I will consider to align this unit with CBCI are listed below. 

  • Start by determining the argumentation unit’s main premise or central concept. 
  • Create precise learning goals that are in line with the idea and enduring understandings. These objectives should specify what these abilities are for each student.
  • Choose themes or topics that will interest and be of interest to 7th graders.
  • Decide how to evaluate students’ comprehension at various points in the unit. 
  • Give students the chance to conduct research, engage in critical thought, and reflect. 
  • Cater to individual needs and provide differentiated activities and assessments.
  • Finish the unit with a culminating activity that enables students to use what they have learned. 
  • Honor kids’ accomplishments and encourage them to share what they have learned. 

I think the most challenging part of this unit is the hands-off facilitating approach. It is easy for teachers to use direct instruction because it has been put into practice for years. I am excited for this challenge because good educators do not need to use much direct instruction for their students to learn and thrive. 

Threshold Concept #1 

The curriculum is more than standards, textbooks, and courses of study.

  • By putting concepts, practical inquiry, and transferrable skills at the center of education, CBCI transforms the way that people traditionally view the curriculum. It changes the curriculum from a list of standards and textbooks to a dynamic, student-centered learning experience that prepares students not just for tests but for a lifetime of meaningful, deep understanding and critical thought.
  • At my school, it is encouraged for students to make mistakes. Administration harps on growth, and growth happens when you learn from your errors. Strictly teaching the standards and expecting students to learn is terrible teaching. 
  • In my community, people want young learners to have basic knowledge but be able to conquer real-world challenges. Following this threshold, if we follow a curriculum that is more than standards, textbooks, and courses of study, students will thrive in the community and as learners. 
  • The twitter link below shows putting theory to practice in a CBCI workshop!


Threshold Concept #2

Social justice requires awareness, action, activism, and practice.

  • When CBCI is part of the curriculum, it not only helps students understand ideas about social justice, but it also gives them the tools they need to do something about it. It helps people learn how to think critically, have empathy, and feel like they have a role in fixing social problems. In this way, CBCI is in line with the ideas of social justice education and helps students become more aware, take action, become activists, and put their knowledge into practice.
  • At my school, we encourage and celebrate diversity. Every day, the principal ends announcements with “Work hard and be kind.” As an educator, I value all of the differences that my students bring to the table and encourage them to be good human beings. We learn from each other and from different backgrounds and perspectives. 
  • In my community, there are different events that celebrate diversity. Cincinnati is a diverse city and there are some great events that take place to honor different cultures, identities, religions, etc. Kings Local incorporated a culture blueprint that aligns with this threshold. The link is attached below.
  • https://www.kingslocal.net/media/culture/KingsStrong%20Culture%20Blueprint%20FINAL.pdf
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