Contextualization is defined by The Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence (CREDE) as connecting the school curriculum to childrens’ prior knowledge and experiences from their home and community.
The teacher introduces a ramp building activity by having children recall ramps they have seen at school and in the community. The teacher uses photos of ramps on their campus to assist children in making connections to their personal experiences.
The teacher uses students’ family drawings to guide a discussion on math concepts (relationships and fractions). The students explore the connection between fractions and families and then construct a math word problem together.
Connecting knowledge and experiences is key for learning to take place. In his book, Building Background Knowledge, Robert Marzano states, “What students already know about the content is one of the strongest indiactors of how well they will learn new information relative to the content.” It is our responsibility to make connections with learning!
More information on Contextualization and CREDE can be found here http://manoa.hawaii.edu/coe/crede/