Making it Real: Concretization in the Classroom

By Francois Cissoko, Teacher Project Coordinator

In Mali classrooms, all too often lessons are taught by lecture and repetition and enforced through memorization. By contrast, active teaching and learning requires a set of methodologies that can make the learner more self-sufficient in their learning. One of these didactic techniques is the technique of concretization. What does the technique of concretization in teaching mean? Is it difficult to apply? What is it used for?

Concretization consists of teaching on the basis of evidence. Teaching with evidence is not at all difficult though at the first sight it seems difficult. A teacher may use sketches, maps or may even use his chalkboard to present evidence for the students to connect with the topic.

Concretization allows quick and easy acquisition by the student. Thanks to the technique, a student can easily reproduce the lesson he learned in class back home, starting with the evidence and building to the solution. Concretization also gives students an appreciation for the sciences and may even inspire them to become scientists. All in all, the technique is the core of any successful teaching approach.

Teachers who were present at Mali Rising’s annual Teacher Training were taught the technique of concretization and liked this technique so  much that they discuss it at every single Teacher Peer Meeting we have hosted since. At these Peer Meetings, the teachers who attended the training share the ideas of concretization with their peers and they learn from each other’s experience about the different ways of doing it. An opportunity like this took recently place at one of our Teacher Peer Meetings involving teachers of natural sciences, physics and chemistry from four Mali Rising partner schools. Throughout the meeting, six teachers simulated small lessons demonstrating how they had educated themselves on how to do apply concretization. This allowed teachers newer to the technique to understand that all science lessons could be taught based evidence.

As the teacher trainers said, a lesson taught by the means the technique of concretization is already half understood. As of the teachers at the recent Teacher Peer Meeting said, a gathering of fellow teachers is the best way of learning and sharing about better teaching technique. Owing to Mali Rising’s supporters, continued that teacher, the teachers keep discovering and deepening such techniques during trainings or meetings between their peers.

Learn more about the Teacher Project.