- Paperback: 370 pages
- Publisher: Assn. for Supervision & Curriculum Development; 2nd Expanded edition (January 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416600353
- ISBN-13: 978-1416600350
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 231 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,340 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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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.
Much of the work consists of visual grids, forms, and graphs that sometimes make the concepts more confusing than helpful. The process of constructing lesson plans is further complicated by using abbreviations that serve little purpose other than to the lesson writer himself. In other words, unless your colleagues also understand your specific design, a UbD lesson plan would not be understood by even a well-trained educator. It attempts to create vague templates with so much room that nothing seems concrete, such as evaluative criteria, objectives, and daily lessons. Don't believe me? Just read the template about a driving lesson, there is no scoring guide next to its "criteria" to show level of performance. GRASPS is nearly the same. Even with the Forms/FAQ, I left more confused than enlighted about some "revolutionary" design concept.
Furthermore, there is a danger in overusing the "understanding" method of teaching, especially in lower grades (K-5). There is so much emphasis on higher-level thinking that it suggests taking away assessment of other knowledge in order to obtain "a mile deep and an inch wide" level of understanding. The author wants students to make meaning of their learning in a complex way rather than just recall the material. While I agree that students should learn in a meaningful way, the level of depth can be inappropriate for lower grades in given subjects as suggested, such as math.
UbD can be best described as a way for teachers to organize what they already know how to do while adding a level of complexity to the process. Emphasis on content the teacher already knows. This includes unnecessary labels (AMT, WHERETO, GRASPS, Facets), renaming lesson planning norms (rubrics, big ideas, essential questions, unpacking standards, differentiated instruction), and generic classroom instructional strategies (see table of content in "Classroom instruction that Works"). I bought this for a college class and felt that I got nothing out of this series, not even as a new teacher. While I acknowledge that there are some reviewers who feel that this book has been life-changing, I prefer concrete and specific plans to help me reflect on my practices a year later. UbD is merely a "thinking process" to help one focus on what they intend for their students to learn. It is best suited for upper grades and must heavily be modified to work with elementary students. I may use UbD as a curriculum map, but certainly not for teaching lessons.