A Concept-Based Curriculum for Enhancing Performance

Given that the mode of assessment generally incorporates the accepted basic linguistic competencies, how then can we value-add performance and achievement? Where and how can teachers increase students’ ability levels to attain the grades that endorse mastery? Returning to the characteristics of a concept-based curriculum and its attendant enhancement to the educational experience, its implementation and incorporation would only increase the engagement levels, augment application and boost motivation. Any of these potential outcomes alone would be adequate reason for implementation let alone the potential and likely combination of all. As such, the examinations—high stakes as they are—should not pose any potential barrier for the adoption of a concept-based curriculum. If at all, the evolution towards a concept-based curriculum should be seen as a means for enhancing performance and achievement levels, thus meeting the objectives for all stakeholders.

A concept-based curriculum that aims to heighten proficiency across all skills in the curriculum has a positive impact on learners. VanTassel-Baska, Zuo, Avery and Little (2002) investigated the treatment effect of concept-based units of instruction. They found the treatment generally positive under all conditions across treatment and comparison groups. These include gender comparisons, impact of treatment on students’ proficiencies, impact of grouping models, comparisons of single-year and multi-year exposure and comparisons between low and high SES groups. Hence, empirical evidence attests to the efficacy of a concept-based curriculum as a distinct platform for enhancing performance.

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