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  • 1. 1 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 1 Focusing on Understanding International School of Bangkok August 3-7, 2010 Facilitated by Elizabeth Rossini (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 2 Agenda for the workshop Overview of Teaching for Understanding What is good design? What is understanding? What does our understanding of “understanding” demand of our designs? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 3 Essential Questions for us to consider – Why teach for understanding? What does it mean to teach for understanding? To understand? What’s the difference between “getting it” and mere accurate recall of what was taught? How do you know when learners really understand? What does designs – our planning? How do we teach understanding as a goal (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 4 Best Design exercise What was the most well-designed learning experience you ever encountered as a learner, in or out of school? “Best” = the design resulted in highly engaged and effective learning. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 5 Focus on Design Features: The teaching and learning itself. Avoid: “She made us feel comfortable.” “I was really interested in the topic.” “The teacher matched my learning style.” “Our group really got along.” (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 6 Best Design Part 1 Personally reflect (3 minutes) What was the best designed learning situation that you experienced? Could beCould be in or outin or out of school. Cof school. Could be as aould be as a learner or teacher.learner or teacher. What made it engaging and effective?What made it engaging and effective? Ignore the teacherIgnore the teacher’’ss stylestyle.. Describe the situation and consider theDescribe the situation and consider the charactercharacterisisticstics
  • 2. 2 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 7 Best Design exercise - Part 2 Small group reflection (10 minutes)Small group reflection (10 minutes) Given the description and characteristics, whatGiven the description and characteristics, what generalizations become apparent about best designsgeneralizations become apparent about best designs for learning? What do the the examples you identifiedfor learning? What do the the examples you identified have in common?have in common? Work in a small group and develop statements thatWork in a small group and develop statements that utilize key ideas from your indiutilize key ideas from your individual remembrancevidual remembrance.. WriteWrite youryour bestbest generalizations. Pick a spokesperson togeneralizations. Pick a spokesperson to represent your group.represent your group. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 8 Your Answers: What are the common characteristics of well designed learning experiences? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 13 Aurora Public Schools K-5: immediate application and time to try new ideas Specific and timely Time to self-reflect Multiple exposures in different modalities Doing the work, hands-on Purpose for learning is established Learners empowered and can make decisions (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 14 Aurora Public Schools K-5: Goals were clear for specific learning and shared up front Gradual release of responsibility model used Models/exemplars/demonstrations used They “why” of the learning was clear and shared with the goals Both big picture and sequential learning is clear and followed Immersed in the process/learning Authentic applications of our learning (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 15 The best designs: K-16 Educators San Antonio conference • opportunity to practice ideas through teaching others • Clear goals/outcomes • Models/exemplars used • Took baby steps • Engaging • Teachers effectively “hooked” the students • Used multiple modalities • Clear identification of knowledge/skills to be learned/learned (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 16 The best designs… Cheshire Academy, CT Clear goals from the start Immediate and lots of feedback Active, hands-on and minds-on Challenging Some kinds of public/semi-public presentation Real-world application “Not by winging it” - well-organized, sequenced
  • 3. 3 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 17 The best designs… St. Louis Univ. (K-16 educators) Provides enough time to do it well Connected to prior learning Feedback on-going Doable but challenging Interactive Reflective Clear expectations (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 18 The best designs… K-6 Educators, Menomonee Falls, Wi. Designed around open-ended questions and problems Clear goals and expectations Challenging and relevant Allow for self-assessment, reflection (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 19 In Sum: The best designs… Have focused, meaningful learning goals Assessments include transfer, feedback and self-assessment Students are engaged and supported Learning is effective, active and individualized Structure is effective, sequenced and coherent See pg. 12 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 20 Three-Minute Pause Meet in groups of 3 - 5 to... summarize key points. add your own thoughts. pose clarifying questions. √ √ √ (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 21 By ‘design’ UbD addresses many key problems: Lack of meaningful and focused learning goals; Addressing the problem of “students who don’t really ‘get it’ Student failure to apply/transfer learning Aimless and un-engaging work Lack of coherent and sequenced instructional plans (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 22 Problem #1: A Frequent Absence of Understanding In even our best students and their work, we see frequent – amnesia misunderstanding rigid knowledge, no transfer
  • 4. 4 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 23 What does it mean to understand? You really understand a subject if you can… If you only learned content, you will only be able to… (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 24 But, what is Understanding? 1. How do you define it? 2. What are indicators of understanding? What does it look like when someone understands? 3. What does it look like when you possess knowledge but don’t understand? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 25 Understanding Explained Meet Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins As you listen to their definition of understanding make note of any ah ha’s or any questions that you have. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 26 Understanding – a Definition: Understanding: effective use of knowledge and skill – in varied, important, realistic, and novel situations; Insight into key ideas, their rationale, and their connections, as reflected in wise expression - knowing & showing “why?” and “so what?” (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 27 Essential QEssential Q’’s of UbDs of UbD What is ‘understanding’- really ‘getting it’? If that’s what understanding is, what follows? What does understanding as a goal require of - ‘Designs’ - our planning? Learning and teaching activities? Assessment and feedback to learners? How do we achieve understanding by design (vs. ‘good fortune’)? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 28 Three-Minute Pause Meet in groups of 3 - 5 to... summarize key points. add your own thoughts. pose clarifying questions. √ √ √
  • 5. 5 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 29 Problem #2: Lack of Transfer The research is sobering: Transfer of learning is widely considered to be a fundamental goal of education. When students cannot perform tasks only slightly different from those learned in class, or when they fail to appropriately apply their classroom learning in settings outside of school, then education is deemed to have failed. Unfortunately, achieving significant transfer of learning has proven to be a difficult chore. Dating back to the beginning of [last] century, the research literature on transfer is replete with reports of failure. McKeough et al Teaching for Transfer (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 30 Transfer defined and justified What is ‘transfer of learning’? ‘Transfer of learning’ is the use of knowledge and skills (acquired in an earlier context) in a new context. It occurs when a person’s learning in one situation influences that person’s learning and performance in other situations. When transfer of learning occurs, it is in the form of meanings, expectations, generalizations, concepts, or insights that are developed in one learning situation being employed in others Bigge & Shermis, 1992. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 31 Transfer = gradual release of responsibility Consider in primary language arts I do, you watch I do, you help You do, I help You do, I watch (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 32 The poetry unit #1: Poetry alive Exposure to many poems See, hear, touch #2: Read and react I chose this poem because This poem reminds me of # 3: Poetry is everywhere EQ, where is poetry hidden? #4/5: forms and structure of poems #6: poetry portfolio (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 33 Three-Minute Pause Meet in groups of 3 - 5 to... summarize key points. add your own thoughts. pose clarifying questions. √ √ √ Transfer = you cannot expect mostly simple ‘sideline drills’ to prepare you for the real game Designing backward from genuine performance means you have to learn by practicing to perform, on your own – scaffold and easy exercises gradually removed
  • 6. 6 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 35 Tball coaching experience 3 years during high school 4 years during college 4 years as a parent Fast pitch softball player in high school and in WDC league (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 36 Typical Tball Stations Throwing Stop, step and throw To center of hoola hoop on back drop To the glove of another player Catching/Fielding Using open gallon jugs Alligator Crab Glove to ground Batting Elbow up Step, hit, rotate hips Don’t throw the bat Base Running One direction Listen to base coach Look at base not ball (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 37 Typical Game What are coaches and parents doing during most tball games? Coaching tball through the lens of understanding (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 39 Goals for coaches and players Our Goals as coaches: Create a fun, inviting and safe environment for the kids Teach the kids the basics of baseball (both knowledge and skill) Educate the parents Have fun coaching! Our Goals for our players: Basic understanding of baseball rules (base running, field positions, safety rules, proper catching/throwing/batting form, proper behavior while on bench.) A feeling of being an integral part of a team. A respect for fellow players and the differing ability levels. A fun experience. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 40 Our Tball players will understand that… After hitting the ball, if you get to the base before the ball you are safe. Players run around the bases in a specific order and direction. There is a place in the field for each position. When the ball is hit, the position closest to where the ball is gets to field the ball. Being a part of this team requires going to the practices and games, listening to the coaches, trying new things, and a fun attitude. It is not about winning, it is about having fun!
  • 7. 7 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 41 Our players will know and be able to… determine who should field the ball depending upon where it goes on the field run the bases properly bat from a tee with proper form catch the ball OR position their hands in proper form in order to catch the ball find designated positions on the field field the ball when it comes to their position throw the ball to specified location sit appropriately on the bench during games Practices have some station work (skill and drill) but most of the time is spent in game like conditions. Consider the following examples: What do these reveal about transfer ? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 45 NAEP Grade 4 MathNAEP Grade 4 Math There will be 58 people at breakfast and each person will eat 2 eggs. There are 12 eggs in each carton. How many cartons of eggs will be needed for the breakfast? (calculator available) A. 9 B. 10 C. 72 D. 116 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 46 Grade 4 Math: Multi-step problem (Note: Calculator available) 21% 77% 3% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Correct Incorrect Omitted %ofStudents Nation (Note: Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding.) __ __ __ __ NAEP Grade 4 MathNAEP Grade 4 Math (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 47 Colorado CSAP Math Gr. 4 Together Sara and Brendan have 20 pencils. Sara says ¼ of the pencils are hers. Brendan says 15 of the pencils belong to him. Explain how they both could be right. Use words or drawings. Did you use a calculator on this question? Y or N
  • 8. 8 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 48 Colorado CSAP Math Gr. 4 2003 Performance Results Score Percentage of Students Correct 11% Partial 18% Incorrect 61% Omitted Item 9% Off Task 1% (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 49 NAEP 8th-grade test item, constructed response How many buses does the army need to transport 1,128 soldiers if each bus holds 36 soldiers? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 50 “31, remainder 12”!! Remainder 12 bus Answer from 30% : (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 51 MCAS (MASS) test item: 10th-grade English reading item Is this selection is best described as a : •biography? •scientific article? •essay? •investigative report? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 52 MCAS (MASS) test item: 10th- grade English reading item A fellow fourth grader broke the news to me after she saw my effort on a class assignment involving scissors and construction paper. “You cut out a purple bluebird,” she said. There was no reproach in her voice, just a certain puzzlement. Her observation opened my eyes— not that my eyes particularly help—to the fact that I am colorblind. In the 36 years since, I’ve been trying to understand what that means. I’m still not sure I do…. Unlike left-handers, however, we seem disinclined to rally round our deviation from the norm. Thus there’s no ready source of information about how many presidents, or military heroes, or rock singers have been colorblind. Based on the law of averages, though, there must have been some. We are everywhere, trying to cope, trying to blend in. Usually we succeed. Until someone spots our purple bluebirds. Then the jig is up. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 53 The most wrong item on the state test: 71% incorrect! This selection is best described as A. a biography. B. a scientific article. C. an essay. D. an investigative report. Many students said it could not be an essay because “it was funny” and because “it had more than 5 paragraphs.”
  • 9. 9 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 54 The more difficult problems for students on state tests are “transfer” questions Unfamiliar reading passages and writing prompts with few obvious clues (and no teacher or textbook heads-up about what this is about) Unfamiliar-looking versions of math problems (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 55 Additional Examples -- state exam question; gr. 5 SS Imagine you are a class buddy to a 3rd grader. You have been asked to teach your buddy about the various documents that were written by our founding fathers. Create a visual aid to compare and contrast the following; The Articles of Confederation; The Bill of Rights and The Constitution: Articles I, II, III. Be sure the summarize for your buddy the key ideas that these documents share. This summary statement should reflect the key ideas in the foundation of the United States Government. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 56 State exam question; gr. 8 Sci. During your class trip to NYC, you received permission to drop a tennis ball form the roof of the Empire State Building. You recorded the distance and time of the ball for the first nine seconds of the fall. Using the data below that you collected, sketch the shape of the data, and the determine rate of change, if any, in the tennis ball’s speed. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 57 It assesses for transfer, notIt assesses for transfer, not mere recall, if...mere recall, if... The student must draw from a repertoire for a task requiring multiple skills and an array of knowledge The test-giver provides minimal cues, prompts, graphic organizers, etc. The learner must navigate a context - this particular setting, audience, purpose, ‘noise’, etc. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 58 Transfer is the goal = the realTransfer is the goal = the real ‘‘gamegame’’ of using content on your ownof using content on your own Applying prior learning to - a novel and increasingly new and unfamiliar-looking task An increasingly challenging context & situation (in terms of purpose, audience, dilemmas, “noise” etc.) (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 59 Note how this goal changesNote how this goal changes our view of time use!our view of time use! What will we do to achieve the performance goal - given the very limited time we have? We do NOT say: sorry, no time for performance-based learning and assessment - there is too much information to cover! Nor do we make this mistake in the arts, athletics, writing, speaking a language
  • 10. 10 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 60 Three-Minute Pause Meet in groups of 3 - 5 to... summarize key points. add your own thoughts. pose clarifying questions. √ √ √ (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 61 Problem #3: the key problem of meaningless work We do not adequately share with students what are the learning goals, what they are doing and why they are doing it- what the learning means- and why, therefore, it matters. We front load way to much information, out of context We teach and drill way too much skill, out of context and without consideration for purpose We unwittingly make them intellectually passive -- they didn’t start out that way! (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 62 3 useful questions to ask in class as kids work 1. What are you doing? Is what you are doing meaningful and important? 2. Why are you doing it? 1. What are you supposed to be learning? 3. What will learning it help you to do that matters? 1. The purpose in this class and beyond. Train yourself and your students to ask WHY? And SO WHAT? If you asked your students these questions, what do you think would be their answers? How can you make the work that they do more meaningful? How can you better share the meaning and importance of the work that they are doing in your classrooms? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 63 UbD was created to address these issues through a “design process”… Lets see what the process looks like (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 64 3 Types of Typical Curriculum Design Activity Coverage Procedures/Skills/Facts (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 65 Helping teachers with a 3rd Grade Unit: “Westward Movement and Pioneer Life” (p. 6) Overview of Activities a. Read text on “life on the prairie”. Answer the questions. Read story together. b. Read “Sarah Plain and Tall” and complete a word search on pioneer vocabulary. c. Create a “pioneer life” memory box, containing pioneer “artifacts” and a journal.
  • 11. 11 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 66Textbook Example (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 67 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 68 3rd Grade Unit: “Westward Movement and Pioneer Life” Read Sarah, Plain and Tall a.”Exquisite, sometimes painfully touching tale” of a family living on the prairie, probably in the mid 19th century. b. The family consists of a father, daughter, and younger son. The wife has died in childbirth, and the father has “advertised” for a wife. A women from Maine, Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton, “plain and tall” in her own words, has responded, and comes to live with the family to try it out for a month. c. Tells the story of their lives on the prairie (somewhat romantically), their hopes for their family, Sarah’s longing for the sea and home, and the final happy ending resolution. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 69 Culminating Activity “Prairie Day” Complete seven learning stations during “prairie day”: 1. churn butter 2. play 19th-century game 3. send letter home w/ sealing wax 4. play “dress the pioneer” computer game 5. make a corn husk doll 6. quilting 7. tin punching (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 70 Unit Assessments: Westward Movement and Pioneer Life Assessments: Quiz on pioneer vocabulary terms from Sarah, Plain and Tall Answers to end of text questions on pioneer life “Show and tell” and writing explaining Memory Box contents Student reflections (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 72 “Westward Movement and Pioneer Life” What do you think are the: Strengths of the unit? Problems with the unit What suggestions and recommendations would you make to the teachers to improve this unit?
  • 12. 12 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 73 Student Reflections: Westward Movement and Pioneer Life Letter sent home with student comments from all the 3rd grade classes: Teacher prompts: What did you learn about Life on the Prairie? What did you like about this unit? (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 74 Revealing Student Comments I liked the tin punching because you could make your own design or follow other designs. You can see the sunlight through the holes. I liked the station where you wrote a letter. I liked it because you put wax to seal it. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 75 Revealing Student Comments It was fun to design an outfit for myself on the computer. I liked the prairie games. My favorite was the sack racing because I like to jump. I liked the corn husk doll because it was fun. I learned that making dolls was not easy. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 76 Problem: No “clear goals” Activity-driven design of Prairie Day is not focused on any important goals or “big ideas” that need to be uncovered and learned. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 77 Activity Based Learning (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 79 “Coverage” Based Learning Chapters in Textbook September ---------------------------------------- June “Mile Wide and Inch Deep” Learning
  • 13. 13 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 80 Problem With Coverage: ”Marching Through the Textbook”… A “coverage” driven design at higher grade levels often marches through the textbook -- and leads to frequent student misunderstanding and “amnesia” because too much content is taught and learned too quickly (no time to go deeper, make connections, answer questions…) goals are confusing and there are no “big ideas” that make learning meaningful to the learner and “connect” the pieces of learning. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 81 Procedures/ Skills/Facts teaching 3 Types of Typical Curriculum Design (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 82 How many buses does the army need to transport 1,128 soldiers if each bus holds 36 soldiers? Source: 8th grade NAEP mathematics assessment Question: (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 83 Problem With Procedures, Skills and Facts Design A “procedures, skills and facts ” driven design focuses on the how often in absence of the why Students can do the procedure, skill, regurgitate the fact in class but rarely can they transfer often there are no “big ideas” that help “connect” the pieces of learning with a conceptual framework (why/so what.) (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 84 3 Types of Typical Curriculum Design Activity Coverage Procedures/Skills/Facts Our goal, understanding based designs See page 8 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 85 Three-Minute Pause Meet in groups of 3 - 5 to... summarize key points. add your own thoughts. pose clarifying questions. √ √ √
  • 14. 14 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 86 Underlying Assumption: Understanding By Design: Good teaching is the outcome of good design. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 87 People hear “six days” and don’t think about the design work. (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 88 “Backward Design” is the key approach to unit design! (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 89 Think “Backward” “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” Stephen Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 90 1. Identify desired results 2. Determine acceptable evidence 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction 3 Stages of (“Backward”) Design See pages 9-11 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 91 3 Stages with an understanding focus What should students come away understanding? What is evidence of that understanding? What learning experiences will develop understanding?
  • 15. 15 (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 92 Stage One PlanningStage One Planning MEANINGFUL AND FOCUSED GOALS (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 93 Stage Two PlanningStage Two Planning ASSESSING FOR TRANSFER Not just knowledge/skill (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 94 Stage 3 PlanningStage 3 Planning-- EFFECTIVE AND ENGAGING learning plan that promotes inquiry/questioning (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 95 A Review of The Morning… A recurring look at 2 questions: What is understanding? What is good design? UbD offers a set of ideas and tools that are an embodiment of common sense “best practice” in design what we know about learning (c) Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 96 Now that we have defined understanding and transfer… pg 13 What does the goal of understanding require of the learning? Think of the work the students do and the instructional activities/assessments you plan. What has to happen in class and in the assignments/assessments to make student understanding and transfer more likely?

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