The ICE-KAP model for teaching

Larry Copes

The ICE-KAP model is an extension of its predecessor, the U-NICE model of teaching, to break apart some of the variables. The model was first designed for use by the Teaching S!mulator (TM).

The letters represent different goals of teaching. The I, C, and E represent goals for the educational environment in which the learning is to take place. K, A, and P represent goals of teaching.

I: Independent thinking and learning. Students do not rely on teachers to do their thinking and learning for them. This category is similar to what used to be called locus of control or self efficacy, but it also includes critical thinking, in the sense of being able to challenge others' ideas. In the Teaching S!mulator, the I parameter is increased by discourse that teaches students to think for themselves, for example by eliciting their opinions and acknowledging the legitimacy of their contributions. It is decreased by playing the role of a judgmental, know-all authority.

C: Comfort. Generally this category refers to emotional comfort. This comfort is necessary for taking the intellectual risks necessary for creative problem solving and critical thinking. A simulation player increases the C parameter by showing a level of respect toward students equivalent to that appropriate to adults. Putting students into a position in which they can’t save face is an example of how the C parameter might be decreased.

E: Engagement. This category represents the degree to which students are attentive, curious, and motivated to learn. Asking open-ended questions and appealing to a variety of learning styles and intelligence types are good ways to raise the E parameter. A teacher can lower the parameter by doing more of the thinking and work than the students are doing.

K: Knowledge. This category encompasses all objectives of the class that refer to conceptual or procedural content knowledge.

A: Attitudes. These are attitudes toward mathematics and habits of mind.

P: Problem Solving. Here we have skills in the use of problem-solving strategies.


Institute for Studies in Educational Mathematics

September, 2006