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Key concepts are the ideas and understandings that we hope will remain with our students long after they have left school and have forgotten much of the detail. Key concepts sit above context but find their way into every context.
Students need time and the opportunity to explore these concepts; to appreciate the breadth, depth, and subtlety of meaning that attaches to them; to learn that different people view them from different perspectives; and to understand that meaning is not static. By approaching these concepts in different ways and by revisiting them in different contexts within a relatively short time span, students come to refine and embed understandings.
For further information, see Approaches to building conceptual understandings at Social sciences online.
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Last updated August 3, 2010