It is essential that our children become thinkers and problem solvers, not just memorizers of facts. They need big ideas that they can take with them through their lives so that they will be able to understand complex interactions and become true innovators. The Moving Beyond the Page concept-based curriculum will help achieve those ends.
Abstract concepts stimulate higher-level thinking. They rise above the fact base to foster a deeper understanding. Many curricula for younger grades will use "apples" as a concept. As a concept, this falls short of providing children with a "big idea" that will help them process their world.
Concepts should remain constant through time. Even though factual examples of a concept can be found, the concept transcends individual situations. An example from the 5-7 Year Old curriculum is the concept of Change. When a student understands that change is inevitable, they can take that understanding and apply it across different stages in their learning. For example, a six year old may understand that people and animals grow and change over time, while a ten year old may begin to recognize that relationships change over time.
Universal truths are those that can be applied across many different fields of knowledge. This is crucial in order for students to draw connections between different areas of their life. With these "big ideas", students are able to view the world through different lenses and are able learn how ideas and situations are related.
The 5-7 Year Old curriculum uses Environment as a concept.When your child studies environments she will see that the forest is an environment for a deer, her home is a part of her environment, the weather is a part of the outside environment, and the community is her larger environment. Even at age 5, your child is learning ideas that will follow her throughout life.