The Teaching of Concepts: A Review of Instructional Design Research Literature

Robert D. Tennyson, Ok Choon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Reviewed are recent studies directly related to the teaching of concepts. The relationship of this educational research work with that in experimental psychology is defined with extended interpretation given to specifying a set of guidelines for design of concept learning environments. A four-step process for concept teaching is proposed from the literature. First, the taxonomical structure of the content should be determined. Second, a concept definition should be prepared in terms of the critical attributes, and examples should be selected on the basis of critical and variable attributes. Third, examples should be arranged in rational sets by appropriate manipulation of the attributes. Fourth, the presentation order of the rational sets should be arranged according to the divergency and difficulty level among examples of the concept. Areas of further research on concept teaching are identified. © 1980, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-70
Number of pages16
JournalReview of Educational Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980


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