What sets Dr. Lynn Erickson’s curriculum model apart from others is her definition of generalizations — which are two or more concepts stated in relationship to each other.

Leaders often manipulate systems in order to gain more power

The circumference of a circle is a little more than three times the diameter. 

If you are new to this, check out our other posts including one from Dr. Erickson and another from her associate Dr. Lanning here.

Once we’ve identified the big ideas or generalizations of a unit, we find many of us have difficulty teaching in a way that fosters synergistic thinking: the relationship between the facts and the generalizations or big ideas. Conversations often shift from purely topic-based to purely abstract. 

Students need both in order to develop deep understanding!

How do we do that? We have to allow students to generate and test hypotheses about the concepts using the fact base to “prove” or “disprove” them.

  • Use questions to drive inquiry into concepts by allowing students to generate hypotheses in response to the questions


How do some leaders try to gain more power?

What is the relationship between the circumference and the diameter of a circle? What is the significance of the symbol pi and why is it important for circles?

 Then give them a bunch of examples or case studies to test out their responses and refine their ideas.