Content-Based Education vs Conceptual Learning

What do you want for your child?
A Content-Based Education or Conceptual Learning?

“Education is the manifestation of perfection already exists in men” that is what Swami Vivekananda is referring to all of us as the search begin, for the teachers and management of schools to discover, what are those characteristics of ‘perfection’? Swamiji expected us to search and establish, implant the mindfulness firmly in the consciousness, attentiveness in the heart of teachers to guide our future generation.
Which learning or education should be taken up for your child to prepare them for the future? Should it be a content-based education which fulfils our merit or should it be the conceptual learning like the IB curriculum offers us that imparts a real understanding?  What is Education and how one shall acquire this in the competitive world like today; where everyone is searching for the real solution as how to be the race to become better and the best. But in the chase of life and asking for a lot from it, somewhere we are completely missing out the real values of education and learning to develop our individual perception of acquiring knowledge.

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” ~ Albert Einstein

Education is not about learning a whole lot of facts and information about the world or maybe learning all the content that it may offer but apply it practically in the development of the individual, to be a better self and then help the society and eventually the country and the World.

Conceptual Learning vs Content-Based Education

Conceptual learning is a process by which students learn how to organize information in logical mental structures. Conceptual learning is an educational method that centres on big-picture ideas and learning how to organize and categorize information, then take charge of it. Conceptual learning acts as a catalyst by offering challenges to the students, to think at more advanced levels.
Whereas Content-Based Education is a way to deal with a particular subject that highlights not on the subject of understanding, but instead on what is being informed through the subject; that is, the subject turns into the medium through which something new is being offered and informed to the individual student.

Conceptual Learning is the process of learning and reasoning from detailed facts to general principles.
Content-based Learning is the process of learning and reasoning from general principles (concepts) to detailed facts.
The conceptual idea of Education transcends the perspectives and time-bound limits of any specific subject area. A concept based education is something that can be taught to anyone anywhere or in any classroom, no matter what the content includes and orient. Importantly, it could be understood by most of us very simply as the facts or events or stories jump out of real-time and make connections between our mind and intellect. This type of education has the capacity for the social regeneration of all society, particularly in India, because it is supposed to have the potential to help the human mind from mental decadence and uplifts them from the tendencies of ignorance, laziness and unwillingness to accept anything that is prescribed without personal reflection.

Let’s say, for example, the taste of an alphonso mango can be sweet, sour, juicy, pulpy or tangy in nature. This is the content of ideas related to the fruit. But when someone takes a bite of an Alphonso mango and then discovers the real taste of the fruit, is the knowledge that one acquires from the concept of realization. What follows, is an understanding, makes a deep groove in the brain neurons and is never forgotten. Therefore, a conceptual education opens the way for a pragmatic, experiential, real-world learning in which the information is given on the forms of comprehension, awareness and lifelong understanding.
In the World Schools, or at least in IB Curriculum, the atmosphere of education is based on concept-driven learning, where it focuses on teaching more content but in a practical and meaningful way to help the students to learn a huge amount of content, understand quickly. It provides better growth for the students to achieve their individual goals in the global atmosphere of learning.
And now the question may arise here is, Why an IB curriculum could be more beneficial for the Present-day generation students?

It is probably because; the teaching methods and curriculums of IB are based on research methodology and are drawn from the best educational practices all around the world and also from the teachings of ancient Indian scriptures and culture. It is a world-leading curricular framework that encourages students to become active and compassionate lifelong learners. Students who pass out from IB schools have a considerably higher chance of getting enrolled at top colleges and universities in India ~ compared to other boards and in top Universities of the World.
The IB program is more practical and application-based with a concept-driven curriculum. It focuses on developing the skills and ideas that help to generates all-round development of an individual. It’s a learner-centric approach that includes research and problem-solving skills. The focus is more on applied knowledge instead of rote learning.

Students are encouraged to think independently and drive their own learning through ‘inquiry’ and skilful questioning.
IB provides a student-focused learning environment where ‘Inquiring’ is a vital ingredient that makes children better communicators as well as inquirers. It also helps students to become an independent thinker for all sorts of critical yet practical learning.
So, what do you think who is the real winner? Content-Based Education or Conceptual Learning? Imagine a scenario where learning would be based on applied science and individual development and less on stuffing our heads with loads of information; in which our children can be made ready to face the challenges of the world in terms of innovation and technology with a full flagged mind of practical knowledge?

Leave a Reply