Process of concept formation
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Concept formation is a type of discovery learning involving psychological processes such as analysis, hypothesis, generation and testing and generalization. Children usually learn concepts through concept formation method. In this method children observe many examples of the concept about which the concept will be formed, follow all the processes stated above and finally generalize to arrive at the concept. This is how the children formulate the concepts of cat, dog, ball etc. Here the observation of the objects will be first time in life. Concept formation provides students with the opportunity to explore ideas by making connections and seeing relationships between items and information. This approach helps students to develop their abilities to recall and discriminate among key ideas to see commonalities and identify relationships. Concept formation lessons can be highly motivational because students are provided with an opportunity to participate actively in their own learning, the thinking process involved helps them to create new and expanded meaning. The teacher is the initiator of the activity and guides students as they move co-operatively through the task. In this approach students are given data about a particular concept. These data may be generated by the teacher or by the students themselves. Students are encouraged to classify or group information and to give description labels to that grouping. By linking examples to the labels and by explaining the reasoning the students form their own understanding of the concept. Hilda Taba: The first phase of inductive thinking model is an example of a concept formation strategy; concept formation is the basis for inductive thinking model. It requires presentation of examples. Concept formation is the process of sorting out given examples into meaningful classes. In inductive thinking model students group examples together on some basis and form as many groups as they can, each group illustrate a different concept. According to Hilda Taba, concept formation process involves three steps: 1. Identifying and enumerating data that are relevant to the problem (observation); 2. Grouping these data on the basis of some similarity (categorization); and 3. Developing categories and labels for the groups (conclusion). To engage students in each of these activities Taba invented teaching moves (steps) in the form of questions. These questions are matched to particular type of activities. For example the questions: “What did you see?” might induce the students to enumerate a list (listing). “Which belong together?” is likely to make students group things that have been listed. “What would we call this group?” it induces students to develop labels or categories. The purpose is to make students expand the conceptual system with which they process information.
- 1. NCERT(2012), Pedagogy of Mathematics-textbook for Two year B.Ed course, New Delhi