Understanding by Desing - Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe


vi - Designing lessons for understanding begins with what we want students to be able to do and proceeds to the evidence we will accept that they have learned it. Along the way we must be clear about what we want students to understand, and what we mean by understanding.

Unit 1 What is Backward Design?
9 - Stages in The Backward Design Process - Identify desired results. Determine Acceptable evidence. Plan learning experiences and instruction.
Stage 1 - Identify Desired Results:
10 - How does one go about determining what is worth understanding?
i) Filter 1. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process represent a 'big idea' having enduring value beyond the classroom? - a linchpin idea.
ii) Filter 2. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process reside at the heart of the discipline? Authentic learning experiences shift a student from the role of a passive knowledge receiver into a more active role as a constructor of meaning.
iii) Filter 3. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process require uncoverage? What important concepts or processes do students often have difficulty grasping? What do they typically struggle with? About which big ideas are they likely to harbour a misconception?
iv) Filter 4. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process offer potential for engaging students?
11 - How will we know if students have achieved the desired results and met the standards? By having students encounter big ideas in ways that provoke and connnect to students' interests, we increase the likelihood of student engagement and sustained inquiry.
Stage 2 - Determine Acceptable Evidence:
How will we know if students have achieved the desired results and met the standards? Course is not just a collection of content to be covered or a series of learning activities. Unit or course will be anchored by performance tasks or projects - these provide evidence that students are able to use their knowledge in context.
Stage 3 - Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction
What enabling KSA's will students need to perform effectively and achieve desired results?
What activities will equip students with the needed knowledge and skills?
What will need to be taught and coached, and how should it best be taught, in light of performance goals?
What materials and resources are best suited to accomplish these goals?
Is the overall design coherent and effective?
Teaching is a means to an end.
Unit 2 - What is a Matter of Understanding?
Important to see the content from the learner's perspective. Educators must know the subject well enough to bring life to the important issues and people. Designs must help students see what is worth understanding. what needs further exploration.
23 - What knowledge is worth understanding? Filters for selecting "Enduring" understandings:
  • Represents a big idea having enduring value beyond the classroom.
  • Reside at the heart of the discipline (involve "doing" the subject).
  • Require uncoverage (of abstract or often misunderstood ideas).
  • Offer potential for engaging students.
24 - What kind of achievement target is understanding, and how does it differe from other targets or standards?
What conc