Understanding by Design

Topics: Educational psychology, Education, Assessment Pages: 9 (2480 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Wiggins And McTighe’s Understanding By Design

The Understanding by Design framework was designed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. It offers a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, assessment, and instruction towards interfering students’ understanding. This approach had been used in many countries as a guideline in designing curriculum. It has two key ideas which are, focus on teaching and assessing for Understanding and learning transfer, and also design curriculum “backward” from those ends. Covey, S (1994) also quoted from this, one of the tips if you want to success is “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination”. Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen. Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe 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 pragmatically discuss the importance of clear goals and the thoughtful alignment of goals, assessments and also learning activities. They also highlighted a theory of the six facets of understanding and the priorities for establishing what is worth understanding. In additions, they describe the kinds of questions that can organize material for understanding by using three stages of backward design, identify desired results; determine acceptable evidence; and plan learning activities.

Wiggins and McTighe defined, Understanding by Design is a "framework for designing curriculum units, performance assessments, and instruction that lead your students to deep understanding of the content you teach. UbD expands on "six facets of understanding", which include students being able to explain, interpret, apply, have perspective, empathize, and have self-knowledge about a given topic. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Understanding_by_Design) It is the Backwards Approach to Curriculum Design. It also means, ‘Think with the end in mind, Start with assessment’. This is an approach to develop curricula and assessments with a focus on developing and deepening students’ understanding of important ideas. This approach is used to teach differs from others in that it requires the use of a backward design process. To apply this approach, teachers need to determine what the students should know, understand, and be able to do as a result of instruction first. Then they can plan the curriculum, instruction, and assessment around those goals. This is differs from traditional approaches to designing curriculum. Instead of planning activities or tasks first, you begin with how and what will be assessed.

The ‘Big Idea’ of UbD should be the focus of education for understanding. A big idea is a concept, theme, or issue that gives meaning and connection to discrete facts and skills. There are two ‘Big Ideas’ of UbD: 1. Teach and Assess for Understanding

2. 3 Stages of Backward Design

Before teachers teach and assess their students, they need to understand a topic or subject first. Understanding means to use knowledge and skill in sophisticated, flexible ways. The knowledge and skill are the necessary elements of understanding, but they are not synonymous with understanding. Matters of understanding require more on students need to make conscious sense and apt use of the knowledge they are learning and the principles underlying it. (Wiggins and McTighe: 1998) SIX FACETS OF UNDERSTANDING

Understanding by Design identifies six aspects, or facets of understanding that help designers to determine a deep or mature understanding of an idea. Wiggins and McTighe (1998, p. 44), suggest that when we truly understand an idea we: * Can explain:...

References: http://dc364.4shared.com/doc/V9nrZ0He/preview.html
Wiggins, G and McTighe, J. 1998. Understanding by Design. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Understanding by design 2004
Understanding by Design by  G. Wiggins,  J. McTighe 2nd ed. 2006. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: Alexandria, VA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1885909/ )
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