Understanding by Design
 Wiggins & McTighe
     A Brief Introduction
    Center for Technology & School Change
    Teacher...
Focus on “Understanding”
• Explains common practices that interfere with
  understanding.
• Explains a backward design pro...
Focus on Instruction or the
            Approach
• Grant Wiggins and Jay
  McTighe provide a
  way to move from
  “coverin...
Identify
Desired
              Determine
Results
              Acceptable
              Evidence         Plan Learning
   ...
Establishing Curricular Priorities

Worth being familiar with

       Important to know and do


                      End...
Filters for Selecting
            Understandings
• Represent a big idea having enduring value
  beyond the classroom.
• Re...
Practically speaking, this
              means…
• Turning content
  standards and outcome
  statements into
  question for...
Some examples of Essential
            Questions
• Is there enough to go
  around (e.g., food, clothes,
  water)?
• Are ma...
Big Picture of a Design Approach
Key Design                  Design                     Filters           What the Final
Q...
Six Facets of Understanding
•   Can explain
•   Can interpret
•   Can apply
•   Has perspective
•   Can empathize
•   Has ...
Rubric for the Six Facets of
      Understanding
              • Criteria for each facet:
                 – Explanation –...
What the Facets Imply for Unit
            Design
• Uncoverage vs.
  coverage:
  – Text is resource vs.
    text is syllab...
Two Different Approaches
Thinking like an Assessor                  Thinking like an Activity Designer

What would be suff...
Implications for Teaching
Acquisition of   Development of Enlarged
Organized        Intellectual   Understanding
Knowledge...
Design Standards are Important
• Helps us understand:
   – What is worthy of
     understanding in this unit?
   – What co...
Ideally…
    • Units would be reviewed
      with others in a peer
      review process.
    • Units would be
      docume...
A Process, not an Event
• Takes place over time
  – 3 to 5 years
  minimum.
• Can adapt any or all of
  these perspectives...
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  1. 1. Understanding by Design Wiggins & McTighe A Brief Introduction Center for Technology & School Change Teachers College, Columbia University Ellen B. Meier, Ed. D., Co-Director
  2. 2. Focus on “Understanding” • Explains common practices that interfere with understanding. • Explains a backward design process to avoid common problems. • Proposes an approach to curriculum designed to engage students in inquiry & “uncovering” ideas. • Proposes a set of design standards for achieving quality control in curriculum & assessment designs.
  3. 3. Focus on Instruction or the Approach • Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe provide a way to move from “covering the curriculum” to “creating curriculum” and understanding with technology.
  4. 4. Identify Desired Determine Results Acceptable Evidence Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction Stages of Backward Design © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
  5. 5. Establishing Curricular Priorities Worth being familiar with Important to know and do Enduring Understanding © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
  6. 6. Filters for Selecting Understandings • Represent a big idea having enduring value beyond the classroom. • Reside at the heart of the discipline (involve “doing” the subject). • Require un-coverage (of abstract or often misunderstood ideas). • Offer potential for engaging students.
  7. 7. Practically speaking, this means… • Turning content standards and outcome statements into question form. • Designing assignments and assessment that evoke possible answers.
  8. 8. Some examples of Essential Questions • Is there enough to go around (e.g., food, clothes, water)? • Are mathematical ideas inventions or discoveries? • Does art reflect culture or shape it? • Who owns what and why? • What do we fear?
  9. 9. Big Picture of a Design Approach Key Design Design Filters What the Final Question Considerations (Design Criteria) Design Accomplishes Stage 1: What is National standards Enduring ideas. Unit framed around worthy & requiring of State standards Opportunities for enduring understandings understanding? Teacher expertise & authentic, discipline- and essential questions. interest based work. Uncoverage. Engaging. Stage 2: What is Six facets of Valid. Reliable. Unit anchored in evidence of understanding. Sufficient. Authentic credible and understanding? Continuum of work. Feasible. educationally vital assessment types. Student friendly. evidence of the desired understandings. Stage 3: What learning Research based WHERE Coherent learning experiences & teaching repertoire of learning & Where is it going? experiences & teaching promote understanding, teaching strategies. Hook the students. that will evoke & interest, and excellence? Essential & enabling develop the desired Explore & equip. understandings, promote knowledge & skill. Rethink & revise. interest & make Exhibit & evaluate. excellent performance more likely.
  10. 10. Six Facets of Understanding • Can explain • Can interpret • Can apply • Has perspective • Can empathize • Has self-knowledge
  11. 11. Rubric for the Six Facets of Understanding • Criteria for each facet: – Explanation – accurate – Interpretation – meaningful – Application – effective – Perspective – credible – Empathy – sensitive – Self-knowledge - self- aware
  12. 12. What the Facets Imply for Unit Design • Uncoverage vs. coverage: – Text is resource vs. text is syllabus. – Main ideas suggest the kinds of performances vs. assessment is viewed as a test based on text.
  13. 13. Two Different Approaches Thinking like an Assessor Thinking like an Activity Designer What would be sufficient & revealing What would be interesting & engaging evidence of understanding? activities on this topic? What performance tasks must anchor What resources and materials are the unit and focus the instructional available on this topic? work? How will I be able to distinguish What will students be doing in and out between those who really understand of class? What assignments will be and those who don’t (though they may given? seem to)? Against what criteria will I distinguish How will I give students a grade (and work? justify it to their parents) What misunderstandings are likely? Did the activities work? Why or why How will I check for those? not?
  14. 14. Implications for Teaching Acquisition of Development of Enlarged Organized Intellectual Understanding Knowledge Skills of Ideas and Values Didactic Coaching, Socratic Instruction Exercises, and Questioning and Supervised Active Practice Participation
  15. 15. Design Standards are Important • Helps us understand: – What is worthy of understanding in this unit? – What counts as evidence that students really understand and can use what we’re teaching? – What knowledge and skills must we teach to enable them to apply their knowledge in meaningful ways?
  16. 16. Ideally… • Units would be reviewed with others in a peer review process. • Units would be documented with all the information including handouts required and exemplars. • Units would be made available to share.
  17. 17. A Process, not an Event • Takes place over time – 3 to 5 years minimum. • Can adapt any or all of these perspectives and incorporate others. • Emphasis on student understanding is key.
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