Concept Attainment: Model & Strategy

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  • 0:00 What Is Concept Attainment?
  • 0:58 Why Does Concept…
  • 1:30 Concept Attainment Model
  • 2:46 Using the Concept…
  • 3:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karin Gonzalez

Karin has taught middle and high school Health and has a master's degree in social work.

In this lesson, you will learn the definition of concept attainment, as well as the model and strategy used by teachers to help students learn attributes of concepts and critical thinking skills.

What Is Concept Attainment?

Looking at this set of pictures, what theme do you think all the pictures have in common? If you guessed, 'weather,' you are right. The pictures and text associated with the pictures (sunny, rainy and cloudy) all have one thing in common - they are symbols and descriptors of the weather!

Concept Attainment
Image 1: Concept Attainment

That was pretty easy, you may say! Well, that was a very basic and elementary example of concept attainment. Concept Attainment is a teaching strategy created by Jerome Bruner that encourages critical thinking and involves a teacher giving students a group of pictures or words and asking them to decide what the pictures or words have in common. The concept or common theme, therefore, is kept from the students so that they can use their critical thinking skills to figure it out themselves! It really is a fun teaching method and fun for students as well!

Why Does Concept Attainment Work?

Jerome Bruner developed the concept under the premise that humans naturally tend to group together things of similar characteristics as a coping strategy to deal with the diversity and complexity in our environments. Political parties, eating habits (vegetarians, vegans, meat-eaters, etc.) and religions (Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, etc.) are all categories that we group people into, for example. Humans love to group things! That is why this learning strategy is relevant and works so well!

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