Reorganize How You Deliver Information
It is also possible to increase the conceptual coherence of the teaching of history by organizing the information to be taught into general themes and by emphasizing the conceptual links between themes.
In conjunction with this reorganization of the content of texts to be read by the students, Okolo and Ferretti (2013) suggest that students learn more from a text if:
- there is an emphasis on the meaning of key concepts,
- causal relationships are clarified,
- the teacher explicitly draws attention to the ways in which these concepts are interconnected, and
- the teacher offers explanations to address any limitations resulting from the students’ lack of prior knowledge (Beck et al., 1991; Graves, 1988; Voss & Silfies, 1996).
Texts can be restructured by:
- Organizing information around themes that offer conceptual models and that transcend general subjects,
- Using a cause-and-effect structure and graphic organizers to link concepts and to guide students’ writing, and
- Inserting review questions and activities into the text to guide discussions led by the teacher, to focus on key concepts and principles, and to integrate information and ideas from section to section.
(Carnine et al., 1996)
Units can be organized into “key concepts”; for example, the concept of “Lifestyles” will be used to learn about the economy, technology, daily life, religion, and political beliefs, whereas the concept of “Migration and Conflict” will be used to interpret and write about the reasons for migration and the conflicts that arose from interactions between groups with different lifestyles.