- Paperback: 370 pages
- Publisher: Assn. for Supervision & Curriculum Development; 2nd Expanded edition (March 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416600353
- ISBN-13: 978-1416600350
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 224 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understanding By Design 2nd Expanded Edition
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From the Inside Flap
What is understanding and how does it differ from knowledge? How can we determine the big ideas worth understanding? Why is understanding an important teaching goal, and how do we know when students have attained it? How can we create a rigorous and engaging curriculum that focuses on understanding and leads to improved student performance in today's high-stakes, standards-based environment?
Authors Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe answer these and many other questions in this second edition of Understanding by Design. Drawing on feedback from thousands of educators around the world who have used the UbD framework since its introduction in 1998, the authors have greatly revised and expanded their original work to guide educators across the K-16 spectrum in the design of curriculum, assessment, and instruction. With an improved UbD Template at its core, the book explains the rationale of backward design and explores in greater depth the meaning of such key ideas as essential questions and transfer tasks. Readers will learn why the familiar coverage- and activity-based approaches to curriculum design fall short, and how a focus on the six facets of understanding can enrich student learning. With an expanded array of practical strategies, tools, and examples from all subject areas, the book demonstrates how the research-based principles of Understanding by Design apply to district frameworks as well as to individual units of curriculum.
Combining provocative ideas, thoughtful analysis, and tested approaches, this new edition of Understanding by Design offers teacher-designers a clear path to the creation of curriculum that ensures better learning and a more stimulating experience for students and teachers alike.
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As I learned after implementing this in all of the classes that I taught for a year, UBD does take more time at first. I found that by making a template in my word processing program, I was able to cut the design process length down considerably; also, you get faster as you get more experienced. I do NOT recommend using this as a means for creating daily lesson plans, as the format is so detailed that you'd have little time for anything else. However, for unit plans, this is a fantastic method (and the way it's done, you then don't need to write out separate daily lesson plans). Everything is measurable! Everything is balanced! You plan the assessment methods right as you figure out the content, so that you start out from the beginning knowing exactly how you'll prove that students have learned, as well as well as what they will learn. There is emphasis, too, on building in opportunities for metacognition, which is so important if you want to train students into becoming more masterful learners. From the students' standpoint, they get much more organized classes out of this, and they also have a much better idea of exactly what is expected of them. Furthermore, by me getting so organized about making sure my units had all the necessary parts, I ended up teaching much, much better.
I used UBD as a high school teacher, but now that I'm in a PhD program, I am using it in the creation of college courses (100-level electives). The framework makes so much sense and it is surprisingly helpful to my own ingenuity and creativity. Some people fear UBD-style course design because they think it'll make them too formulaic as teachers, but I've found the exact opposite to be true. It alters the way that you think about lessons as much as it does how you create/plan them. Finally, I found that my job satisfaction really increased when I started using this methodology, largely because my output was so much better and I knew for a fact that it was better. It makes a huge difference to how you go about a job when you know that you're doing it well.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to become a master teacher (or even to current master teachers who want to be even better). However, as I mentioned, I also recommend that you don't just get the book on its own. Try to find some form of additional training to help you understand it better and visualize better how things work. The book is a great resource, for sure, but it is a LOT to take in, especially if you are not already familiar with backward design.
Although the authors discuss many of the ideas covered in the early UbD text, the templates, the dialogues, and the guiding questions make this text an excellent complement to that first text. This is not to mention that this is adaptable to the recently established Common Core Standards. The dialogues were a great way of showing significant differences between mere coverage of content, and meaningful learning. This latter concept is achieved by asking Why am I teaching this to my students? What do I expect students to do with the skill or content?
This book is not anti-standards or anti-standardized exams. It is not a critique against any particular public policy although the authors have criticized the excessive number of standards, and policies that encourage teaching by the test (they did so in UbD).
On the contrary, this book helps teachers enhance their lesson planning and meet goals established by standards and educational policies in a more effective way, without sacrificing learners' academic development.
This is one of the most useful books on lesson planning that I've read so far. It's also an eye-opener as to what education should be about. It avoids getting into fruitless debates about what os the True philosophy or scientific theory about learning. Very practical. I recommend it to any teacher who wants to improve lesson planning in the classroom.