Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design .Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

This book is about understanding and about designing an education for understanding. The authors explore several ideas. They explore common practices in curriculum, instruction, and assessment that interfere with student understanding. They introduce the notion of a backward design process that begins the purpose of the task or the desired results and works backward from there. They present a theory of the six facets of understanding and the priorities for establishing what is worth understanding. The knowledge that is worth understanding is that which is enduring, at the heart of the discipline, needs uncoverage because it is not obvious, and is potentially engaging. They describe the kinds of questions that can organize material for understanding. The six facets of understanding are described as what we can do when we understands. We can explain, interpret, apply, have perspective, empathize, and have self-knowledge. These are elaborated upon in this book. The authors explore the practical implications of a focus on understanding for curriculum, assessment, and teaching, and they propose an approach to designing curriculums and assessments that focus on student understanding. Templates and extensive examples are provided as guidance for teachers.

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