Julie Stern

Parent Workshop: Educating for a Complex World

Julie Stern, international education consultant and best-selling author, returned to ISP recently to continue her training with educators and parents on the importance of “Learning that Transfers.”

 “Learning that transfers means taking our knowledge, skills, and understanding from one area of life and applying it to another.”

Julie Stern

In her “Edge in Education” parent session, Julie explained how the idea of “concepts” create the foundation for learning that transfers. Julie defines “concepts” as organizing ideas with distinct attributes shared across multiple examples.

How can parents and educators prepare children for the future in such a rapidly changing and unpredictable world?

Julie’s research and educational strategies (which are highly aligned with the International Baccalaureate teaching framework) address this essential question.  

In her work on concept-based learning, Julie emphasizes how this interdisciplinary approach to education makes learning more integrated, holistic, and applicable for the future. Instead of each class being segregated and distinct, the model of conceptual transfer demonstrates how students can learn skills and knowledge from one discipline and then masterfully apply it to other fields, thus stretching their capacity for making connections and deepening their understanding.

“Learning the skills of conceptual transfer (concept-based learning) helps students look at the world and say, ‘maybe I’ve never been in this situation before, but I know how to figure it out.’ It empowers students and leads to feelings of agency and adaptability.”

Julie Stern

To illustrate the power of concept-based learning, Julie explained how concepts learned in a Physical Education class, like defensive stance, player positioning, and recovery, could not only relate to other athletic experiences but could help students understand new ideas like predator/prey relationships in nature, or even how to analyze and deconstruct a political speech.

This approach to learning equips students with the tools, resilience, and skills to step into an unfamiliar situation confidently (be it a class, experience, or life circumstance) and draw on their previous knowledge for understanding.

“If we help our young people to see the world through concepts, discover connections, and then learn how those connections and concepts transfer to new situations, it makes them feel grounded and confident.”

Julie Stern

If you could not attend the parent session with Julie or want to rewatch it, please tune in to her entire session and see the resources.  Finally, if you are interested in enrolling in the Into into Conceptual Learning and Transfer course, the coupon code ispfree has been opened for up to 400 people.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about concept-based learning and the work our educators have been pursuing to prepare our students with the competence, curiosity, and compassion to face whatever future challenges and opportunities await them.