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Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition [Paperback]

Grant Wiggins , Jay McTighe
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 24, 2005 0131950843 978-0131950849 Expanded 2nd
The highly anticipated second edition of Understanding by Design poses the core, essential questions of understanding and design, and provides readers with practical solutions for the teacher-designer.  The book opens by analyzing the logic of backward design as an alternative to coverage and activity-oriented plans.  Though backward from habit, this approach brings more focus and coherence to instruction.  The book proposes a multifaceted approach, with the six “facets” of understanding.  The facets combine with backward design to provide a powerful, expanded array of practical tools and strategies for designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments that lead students at all grade levels to genuine understanding. 

The second edition, a refined work, has been thoroughly and extensively revised, updated, and expanded, including improvement of the UbD Template, the key terms of UbD, dozens of worksheets, and some of the larger concepts. The authors have successfully put together a text that demonstrates what best practice in the design of learning looks like, enhancing for its audience their capability for creating more engaging and effective learning, whether the student is a third grader, a college freshman, or a faculty member.

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Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition + Understanding by Design: Professional Development Workbook + Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding
Price for all three: $68.09

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; Expanded 2nd edition (July 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131950843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131950849
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potentially useful to some; many "but"s for most. June 11, 2007
By Rgh1066
Whether the human mind is capable of understanding the process of understanding is a philosophical conundrum that has occupied the time of great thinkers from the pre-Socratics to the modern-day exponents of the theory of the mind. It is against this background that McTighe and Wiggins, respected American education researchers and theorists, attempt to say important things about understanding to teachers hoping to improve their lessons and their lesson planning.

Their book sets out to do this largely by attempting to clarify some pragmatic trivia in a well ploughed field. Unfortunately, the reader is soon furnished with ample evidence that McTighe and Wiggins are patently out of their depth in this field. Their definition of understanding is an extremely poor one - "that a student has something more than just textbook knowledge and skill - that a student really `gets it.' " - although, to be fair, their definitions of assessment and curriculum are much sharper and better considered, and remain useful even outside the context of this book.

What the two researchers can achieve is the definition of a series of facets that they themselves create - the Six Facets of Understanding. One is immediately reminded of Bloom's taxonomy here, but McTighe and Wiggins claim that their research supports the notion that this rubric is valuable for teachers seeking to deepen the understanding of students in their classes.

Typically, for this type of book it is the anecdotal evidence they cite which remains in the mind. There is a tradition of made up anecdotal evidence being perfectly acceptable in American education research - as long as it describes patterns of behaviour that are empirically evident in schools.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! April 26, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for a graduate class. This is by far the most well written and enlightening book I've ever read on the subject of teaching. The Six Facets of Understanding, in my opinion, are a better approach than Bloom's Taxonomy. The writers have a talent for deeply explaining information and making sure the reader understands what is being said. Buy this book and you will not be disappointed.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Would Be Better as a Booklet October 30, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Others have already stated my opinion. The useful points in this book would be better stated in a booklet. The authors ramble on needlessly when, in reality, they should have backward-mapped their own main points, stated them, and then stopped typing. The extra babbling detracts from the main points: backwards mapping and six facets. This stuff would stick in the reader's mind more if the authors got out of the way, but then I suppose they wouldn't make dough by selling textbooks would they?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Directly applicable tools May 22, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a Career and Technical Education instructor (Vocational Ed in some states), I haven't had to go through the traditional education school path. I feel very fortunate that this book was my formal introduction to deliberate curriculum design. The authors provide a lot of ready-to-use tools for instructional unit design and present a streamlined approach to getting the most out of contact hours with students. Backward design has informed my practice in my first year of teaching and I feel students have benefitted. Highly recommended for instructors who don't have existing curriculum support and who want to take the time to craft meaningful learning experiences for their students.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good info, a little redundant June 1, 2008
By Readore
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I used this book as part of a graduate level class. The book is quite informative and gives great ideas on how to teach for results instead of just covering necessary material. Basically, it tells teachers to start with goals, then work backward to the introduction and teaching of the material. There are other similar strategies out there, but this is very specific as to curriculum design. It gets repetitive, but it is useful overall.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can be a lot shorter and to the point July 7, 2011
By Weeding
I read the first chapters and feel I have wasted a lot of time. The basic ideas on UbD is quite straightforward that one can grasp them by spending 30 minutes looking into Wikipedia or other introductions on the web. But this book spends thousands of words to make it more confusing than necessary. I agree with some reviewers that it can be more concise and spend more efforts to give out practical procedures to design a good UbD lesson plan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get on with it! October 14, 2013
As I write this review, I'm re-reading a section called "coverage versus uncoverage." It takes more than two full pages of boring anecdotes and inane truisms to tell the reader what they've already been told in previous chapters: relying on the textbook is bad and engaging lessons are good. The next section, occupying another two pages, repeats the same thing in a different way. The rest of the book is not much different. While there are occasional interesting and useful points, they are not easy to find.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Unit Design July 31, 2008
The book is excellent in its comprehensive scope of unit design. The size of the book is awkward but easy for making copies. The writing of the book is at times hard to read. Perhaps it's a bit too comprehensive in its scope and evaluation of unit design.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Buy!
Great condition!
Published 2 days ago by Akeah Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent revision
This new edition of the classic was a wonderful revision. Wiggins and McTighe have enriched their material to make the purchase a worthwhile one. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Penny Clawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Not an easy read, but well worth it!
Published 16 days ago by Donna Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars Great guidelines for backward design and curriculum planning
This is an excellent book on backward design. I liked the organization and layout, as well as the useful templates for curriculum planning. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tami
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
Some chapters are a little redundant, but others offer very good insight. Overall, the book is I organized very well.
Published 1 month ago by Jodee
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" for Teachers of All Grades and Subjects
All classroom teachers should read this book and apply the principles when planning lessons. The ideas are research-based, practical and make sense.
Published 7 months ago by Judith Lindgren
5.0 out of 5 stars Plan with the end in mind for deeper understandings.
Great tool for the pre-service teacher as well as the seasoned educator. The process takes longer but it is worth it!
Published 7 months ago by cales
5.0 out of 5 stars Design thinking
A thorough book on designing learning by keeping the end in mind. An easy to understand and implement system for teachers.
Published 8 months ago by D. Westwood
2.0 out of 5 stars Dry
This text is very dry and not an easy read. I do not look forward to reading it at all!
Published 9 months ago by Kristina M. Fignar
5.0 out of 5 stars :)
The book arrived on time and in perfect condition. I was very pleased with the condition and the promptness of the arrival, as I needed it for a graduate course.
Published 9 months ago by Natalie Griffin
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