1. What is a concept… it is something desituated but gains meaning from being situated. It therefore seems to gain purpose from being transferred to different contexts. In itself it is necessarily vague. 
  2. ‘Topics’ are concepts that are situated. For example, is identity concept or a topic? 
  3. Concepts can be Macro or Micro. Macro refers to ‘breadth’ whereas Micro concepts are ‘depth’. 
  4. Obviously, we need to raise questions as to who chooses whether a concept is macro or micro.
  5. CBL suggests that macro concepts are those that transcend disciplines. But do they have credibility? Actual thinking power? 
  6. Looking at literature – ‘character’ is a macroconcept. Would that make microconcept situated examples of that character? Hedged version of a character? E.g. antiheroes?
  7. Stresses the importance of situating our understanding of a concept in a few examples.
  8. Another example: Audience is a microconcept of communication. Can a microconcept be rethought of as a macroconcept? E.g. types of audience, contexts of production vs reception.
  9. ‘Macroconcepts have a greater transfer’ the abstraction of macroconcepts allows this.
  10. If we focus on these, do we sacrifice situated understanding? Or even ‘actual understanding’ . Without situated knowledge, how do we understand anything?
  11. However, I think that what is interesting here is that we need some situated examples, and those situated examples hope to help us to understand the whole.


  1. Generalisations have many names. They can also be called:  an enduring understanding; a statement of inquiry; or a central idea. 
  2. Definition = two or more concepts in a statement in a relationship. (macro or micro concepts?)
  3. Then does the transfer exist between two concepts? Or from that generalised understanding itself transferred (situated) to different contexts?


  1. Create generalisations from combining concepts. 
  2. E.g. draw out four concepts from your unit. 
  3. Then move these into a statement of relationships that represents…
  4. Preface with ‘The students will understand that…
  5. Only use two concepts per generalisation… the connection between the two is the most interesting.’
  6. E.g. Students will understand that….
    1. Characters can use manipulation to achieve their own ambitions
    2. Power relationships (gender, hierarchy etc…) form societies
    3. A shift in power (dynamics) can challenge your values
    4. That successful writing comes from the linguistic/stylistic devices and choices made by the writer.
  7. 1. representations of character may serve various functions in a narrative such as exemplars of perspectives or values, a contrast or parallel to others, drivers of action etc
    2. How does literature present character development/transformation?
    3. Literary devices are used for effect on the reader and to shape the meaning of a text
  8. These understandings are not entirely clear in themselves, but no more than objective really. 
  9. To progress higher we seek to flip the generalisation into a question So ask ‘why’ or ‘so what’? 
  10. Look at this example related to Edgar Allan Poe  – 

Level 1

Guilt affects perception

Level 2

Why does guilt affect perception? 

My idea – Feelings of guilt instigate emotions that distort perception.

Their idea – Guilt narrows and intensifies focus and perception.

Level 3

What is the significance of this distortion of perception?

My idea – Guilt distorts focus and perception so we don’t see reality as it might be.

Their idea Perception can cause people to make poor choices and decisions.

  1. Perception in itself does not cause poor decisions in itself – rather it is a distorted perception that can cause poor choices and decisions. Doestoeveksi would also argue that just the need for free will causes poor choices as well. 


  1. As a writer’s craft idea

Level 1

Sonic devices affect reading pleasure

Level 2 Why (they use a how)

My idea – Sonic devices emphasise or resonate with the figurative language of a text to increase harmony and reading pleasure

Their idea – Poetic methods such as sonic devices create a flow to the language through sound, rhythm, cadence and repetition

Level 3 So what is the significance of using these devices? 

My idea – Poetic devices such as sonic devices increase aesthetic appeal by establishing a voice or pattern in a poem

Their idea – Poetic devices help to create the mood, emphasise words and enhance the aural appeal of a poem




  1. Don’t need to take every idea from level 2 to level 3
  2. Criteria used to check generalisation:
  3. 1 – 2: Do these ideas grow in sophistication?
  4. Do the ideas become clearer at level 2 because they become more specific (not necessarily situated)
  5. Do you answer your questions at each level?
  6. Also… are the verbs active and present tense? This encourages transfer.
  7. Also, are these ideas true? Do they aim for truth? 
  8. Are these ideas developmentally appropriate – more important for elementary teachers.
  9. So, giving students banks of concepts, and seeing how people create their generalisations. This can help with thesis statements? This can help lead to evaluations in literature?


  1. .Do teachers need to write a level 1 generalisation every time?
  2.  Intended to teach the scaffolding process… these are too distinct to express the relationship between concepts.
  3. Well-defined verbs create situated ideas
  4. Is a Level 3 better than a level 2 – level 2 is ideal? Scaffolding level 3 is a ‘new’ idea, and so therefore is not specific. I think that these are more to do with specifity or evaluative.
  5. 2/3rds of generalisation in a medium-term plan are Level 2, and 1/3rd level 3.
  6. Can be one level 3.
  7. Teacher planning is level 2 more than level 3 – advises to not label generalisations level 2 and level 3.