Teaching overly-factual content to young students is misguided: it is developmentally inappropriate, and ignores what we know about how children naturally learn. We can and should view all children as thinking beings, creating ideal environments for them to make sense of the world while being very careful to protect their inherent love of learning. This book teaches a concept-based curriculum in a way that respects the developmental stages of childhood with intellectual rigour. Infants rapidly develop their understanding of concepts such as hot and cold, happy and sad, in and out, and at three years old, they begin their characteristic, persistent questioning: "Why? Why? Why?" By following this natural tendency, the book's approach cultivates their conceptual understanding in a gentle manner that honours their innate curiosity.
Julie Stern is an author, trainer and instructional coach, supporting schools in transforming teaching and learning around the globe. Her depth and breadth of knowledge combined with her vision and contagious energy make her an in-demand facilitator in many areas including visible learning, concept-based curriculum, differentiated classrooms and formative assessments. Julie is the author of Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, is certified in researcher John Hattie's Visible Learning as well as H. Lynn Erickson's Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction. She is a James Madison Constitutional Scholar and taught social studies for many years in DC and Louisiana. Julie previously served as the director of public policy and curriculum innovation at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC, where she led the revision of curriculum in all subject areas grades 6 - 12. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and her blog is http://www.edtosavetheworld.com/