BC's Know-Do-Understand Curricular Model

September 20, 2016

Taken verbatim from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum-info

 

All areas of learning are based on a “Know-Do-Understand” model to support a concept-based competency-driven approach to learning.

Three elements, the Content (Know), Curricular Competencies (Do), and Big Ideas (Understand) all work together to support deeper learning.

 

Content (Know)

The content learning standards — the “Know” of the know-do-understand model of learning — detail the essential topics and knowledge at each grade level.

Curricular Competencies (Do)

The curricular competencies are the skills, strategies, and processes that students develop over time. They reflect the "do" in the know-do-understand model of learning. While curricular competencies are more subject-specific, they are connected to the core competencies.

Big Ideas (Understand)

The big ideas consist of generalizations and principles and the key concepts important in an area of learning. They reflect the "understand" component of the know-do-understand model of learning.

The big ideas represent what students will understand at the completion of the curriculum for their grade. They are intended to endure beyond a single grade and contribute to future understanding.

 

Concept-based, Competency-driven Curriculum

B.C.'s new curriculum brings together two features that most educators agree are essential for 21st-century learning: a concept-based approach to learning, and a focus on the development of competencies, to foster deeper, more transferable learning.

These approaches complement each other because of their common focus on active engagement of students. Deeper learning is better achieved through “doing” than through passive listening or reading. Similarly, both concept-based learning and the development of competencies engage students in authentic tasks that connect learning to the real world.

Flexible Learning Environments

Learning can take place anywhere, not just in classrooms. Many schools and teachers create learning environments that explore the use of time and space in creative ways. The integration of areas of learning and technology also have opened the door for teachers and schools to approach the use of time and space in creative ways – ways that adapt to students’ needs and interests.

Although the learning standards are described within areas of learning, there is no requirement for teachers to organize classrooms, schools or instruction in this manner. In effect, the Ministry of Education defines the “what” to teach but not the “how” to organize the time, space or methods to teach it.

 

The focus on personalization and the flexible structure of the curriculum support the configuration of combined grade classrooms.  Classes of students of more than one grade provide opportunities for teachers to develop a mindset that sees all the students as a group of learners with a range of needs and interests. Multi-grade programs should find a comfortable fit with the curriculum.

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