3. Conceptual understanding: a framework for planning


Gifted learners are inherently conceptual learners. A powerful drive to feel that learning has meaning, direction and purpose is a strong characteristic in these students. They are not satisfied with just learning set content. They want to know how, and why, and what if. And they ask, with a genuine desire to know, “Why should we learn this? What’s the point?”

Conceptual planning is a simple three-question framework which helps teachers see how to add this dimension to their planning.

It guides teachers to re-visit their own existing thinking around a topic, helping them to take a really fresh look at the ideas involved and to identify the aspects that are going to make this topic meaningful for gifted learners. It gives teachers an opportunity to practise linking a standard topic to conceptual enquiry, and it provides for that kind of issues discussion so dear to heart of many gifted youngsters.

To find out more about this model, either:

  • for a full explanation plus examples, refer to Differentiation Made Practical, Cathcart,R., (2010), published by Essential Resources, available through www.learningnetwork.ac.nz or most booksellers, or
  • email us to register for an online course on this topic - reacheducation@xtra.co.nz.

  1. What does it mean to be "gifted"?
  2. The REACH Model: a framework for understanding.
  3. Conceptual understanding: a framework for planning.
  4. The Multi-Dimensional Model: a framework for teaching.