You are on page 1of 1


The Concept Attainment Model
EDC 311
Is about

Teachers helping students improve an understanding of concepts, as well as critical thinking
skills, by providing examples and non-examples

of the concept until students can identify what the concept is.

Theory and Plan



Introduction: Carefully explain

the example and Non-example
Examples and Hypothesizing:
Present an example and a
non-example and allow
students to hypothesize about
the concept might be
The Analysis Cycle: Present
multiple examples & non-
example one at a time;
students test validity of
hypotheses based on new info;
students articulate their
reasoning to enhance thinking
skills & help peers understand.
Closure and Application:
Students state the concept &
apply it to new examples the
teacher provides; relate
concept to related concepts
(concept maps)

Assessment and

Four Ways to Test Concept
Define the Concept: mostly measures
information recall
Identify Concepts Characteristics:
measures information recall
Relate Concept to Other Concepts:
students understand relationships
among similar concepts
Identify/Supply New Examples of
provides the b est evidence that
understand the concept
Puzzle-Like Structure: The structure of
this model p romotes curiosity
and eagerness to participate
Student Group work: Students can b e
grouped together to increase student
involvement and learning motivation
Metacognition and Self-Regulation:
This model increases student
metacognition and self-regulation b y
encouraging students to think critically
and test their ideas


Adapting for Young Children

Use concrete examples, as well
as simple, familiar concepts.
Adapting t o Members of
Cultural Minorities Welcoming
climate; work in groups; use h igh
quality examples.
Concept Attainment II
Instead of presenting examples
one a t a time,
present a ll examples at once to
increase h ypotheses testing
skills. Use list of
examples/non-examples to fit
the hypothesis
you chose.
Concept Attainment III
Start with 2 examples. Eliminate
earlier. Students formulate their
own examples to test
hypotheses. Keep checking
hypothesis along the way.
Using Computer Programs
Students presented with a
hypothesis, which they accept or
reject & give a reason why. Then
the program provides feedback.

Based on the work of Jerome

Rooted in cognitive psychology.
Built on the foundation of
inductive reasoning.
Identify Topic: Choose a concept
that students have some
experience with.
Specify Learning Objectives:
Synthesis level objectives are
best. Students must have
background knowledge. Establish
clear objectives; examples should
help achieve objectives
Select Examples and Non-
examples: Examples must clarify
the characteristics of the
concept. Non-examples clear up
misunderstandings about closely
related concepts. Sequence
examples and non-examples so
that students are challenged
and must test their hypotheses
throughout the


So What??
This model emphasizes critical thinking and practice with the scientific method. Students are able to articulate their ideas, reach a
deeper understanding of a concept, and also have fun with the puzzle-like structure of a Concept Attainment lesson.