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Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0131950849 ISBN-10: 0131950843 Edition: Expanded 2nd

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Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition + Understanding by Design: Professional Development Workbook + Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, 2nd edition
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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: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The writing of the book is at times hard to read.
Joseph Burke
This is an excellent design for educators to use during instruction.
Kelsie Brook
A lot of great information is included in this readable book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Rgh1066 on June 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lana A. Lacanfora on 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 By HRBIZSTUDENT on 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 By Readore on June 1, 2008
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 By Weeding on July 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Helene Martin on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Burke on July 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M McKinley on October 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
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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