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Teaching For Understanding

Teaching For Understanding

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Teaching For Understanding

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  1. Teaching For Understanding Understanding by Design

  2. Essential Questions • How can we more likely achieve our educational goals by design than by good fortune? • What is “understanding” as a goal and what does it demand “by design?” • How do essential questions impact teaching and learning?

  3. Plan Teach Adjust Assess

  4. So Why UbD? • It puts the pieces together for us: • Project Based Learning • 21st Century Skills • Assessment • Technology Integration

  5. So Why UbD? • If too many of your students do not apply their learning unless you “hold their hand” • Even in our best students we frequently see: • Amnesia • Misunderstanding • Rigid knowledge, no transfer

  6. The 5 Big Ideas The point of school is competent understanding, not prompted recall of content & compliance Competency = independent and effective understanding, in context Understanding = using context for transfer and meaning Intellectual engagement is more likely when it is built in ‘by design’ ‘Backward’ Design: from engaging work and competent understanding not ‘coverage’

  7. The 5 Big Ideas The point of school is competent understanding, not prompted recall of content & compliance Competency = independent and effective understanding, in context Understanding = using context for transfer and meaning Intellectual engagement is more likely when it is built in ‘by design’ ‘Backward’ Design: from engaging work and competent understanding not ‘coverage’

  8. Exercise Goals

  9. How Would You Complete This Sentence? • By the end of the year, learners should be (better) able, on their own, to strategically use all the content learned this year to…..

  10. How Would You Complete This Sentence? • By the end of their formal schooling, learners should be able, on their own, to use all the content learned to…..

  11. Content is the ‘tool’…..

  12. Toward what end?

  13. The 5 Big Ideas The point of school is competent understanding, not prompted recall of content & compliance Competency = independent and effective understanding, in context Understanding = using context for transfer and meaning Intellectual engagement is more likely when it is built in ‘by design’ ‘Backward’ Design: from engaging work and competent understanding not ‘coverage’

  14. Competency, defined “Competency is perhaps best understood as the underlying characteristics of successful performers. It can include bodies of knowledge, skills, traits, abilities, attitudes, or beliefs. In short, a competency is anything that distinguishes an exemplary performer from an average or below-average performer.” Beyond Training and Development: State-Of-The-Art Strategies for Enhancing Human Performance William Rothwell.

  15. Competent People What do these people have in common?

  16. Highly Competent Everyday People • Pick an area of human performance you are interested in and very knowledgeable about (teaching, carpentry, cooking, golf, etc.): who is a highly competent performer you know? What makes you say that he or she is “highly competent?”

  17. Competence-based Education “Competence-based education derives a curriculum from a specification on a set of outcomes, based on an analysis of an actual role in modern society.” G. Grant, On Competency (1976)

  18. Competent Understanding • Our aim, arguable, is to produce confident and competent students who have understanding and can use it productively • Real understanding is different from being merely learned; “book knowledge” is not enough for us to say that someone “really understands”

  19. The 5 Big Ideas The point of school is competent understanding, not prompted recall of content & compliance Competency = independent and effective understanding, in context Understanding = using context for transfer and meaning Intellectual engagement is more likely when it is built in ‘by design’ ‘Backward’ Design: from engaging work and competent understanding not ‘coverage’

  20. Exercise What is Understanding?

  21. Group the Answers • If you really understand you can: Figure Out Apply Not just plug in Say Why Connect Use Interpret Support Teach Create

  22. The More You Do One…. • If you really understand you can: Make Meaning via active inferencing Transfer your learning in context Figure Out Apply

  23. Not a New Idea: BLOOM • “Application is different from simple comprehension: the student is not prompted to give specific knowledge, nor is the problem old-hat. The tests must involve situations new to the student.” • “Ideally we are seeking a problem which will test the extent to which the individual has learned to apply an abstraction in a practical way.”

  24. In short, if you have competent understanding you are able to - • retrieve and adapt the most appropriate content, in context, to make sense of things and perform optimally

  25. Crucial Design Implications • A problem with an obvious answer and various plausible alternatives • A challenge that requires figuring out which prior learning applies here • Handling varied situations: different demands/audiences/purposes/options/constraints

  26. An example of Unit Design: Math • What is fair? How can math help us figure it out? • When we say something is ‘fair’ or ‘unfair’ what do we mean? How ‘mathematical’ should our evidence be? • Students generate, categorize examples of “that’s fair!” and “That’s not fair!”

  27. “What is fair? Can math help? Problem – Four 7th grade classes had a race of all the students. In GROUPS: devise at least 2 different ways to determine a fair ranking of the classes, given the results. Agree on the most fair way, and be prepared to defend your answers….

  28. The content is Still Learned • “Guys, mathematicians have a few tools that might help us….” • Lessons on measure of central tendency: • Mean • Median • Mode • Quizzes to check for skill

  29. Final Assessment Tasks • Propose and defend a “fair” grading system for use in this class. • How should everyone’s grade be calculated? Whay is your system more fair than the current system (or: why is the current system most fair?) • A final reflection on the question: What is fair and what isn’t fair? When should you and when shouldn’t you use mean, median and mode?

  30. Question: How does this unit differ from typical units?

  31. Exercise Model instructional design/Problem Statements

  32. Acquire MakeMeaning Transfer

  33. Acquire Acquisition Goals • Learn, with accurate and timely recall, important facts and discrete skills • Aim: automaticity of recall when needed in performance

  34. MakeMeaning Meaning Goals • Make connections and generalizations using the facts and skills – • e.g. – interpret, gist, main idea, thesis, emphasize, critique, etc. • Aim: independent and defensible student inferences about situations, texts – ‘helpful and insightful understandings’

  35. Acquisition Goals • Adapt your knowledge, skill and understanding to specific and realistic situation and contexts • Aim: efficient, effective solutions for real-world challenges, audiences, purposes, settings Transfer

  36. TMA in Geography • T: Make a map of your school; see if people can read your map and use it to get somewhere • M: Make sent of the spatial relations, so as to interpret three dimensions into two: make sense of other people’s maps • A: Acquire skills of making and reading

  37. TMA in Spanish • T: solve a communication problem, on the spot, in which and American cannot make herself understood to a South American because the American relies on too many ‘faux amis’ words and is getting tenses wrong • M: Correctly interpret the scene and translate the meanings accurately • A: Acquire skills of accurate conjugations and vocabulary

  38. TMA in Algebra • T: Solve a non-routine and unfamiliar problem in context in which there may or may not be a linear relationship • M: Correctly interpret the meaning of data patterns or line of ‘best fit’ of data points • A: Acquire skills of plotting point pairs, accurately drawing the graph of a line from a linear equations, etc.

  39. The 5 Big Ideas The point of school is competent understanding, not prompted recall of content & compliance Competency = independent and effective understanding, in context Understanding = using context for transfer and meaning Intellectual engagement is more likely when it is built in ‘by design’ ‘Backward’ Design: from engaging work and competent understanding not ‘coverage’

  40. “Most Interesting Work” While reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, my English teacher had my class take a survey about some of our traits (eye color, hair color, skin color, height, # of family members, and many others). The next day, she had students be separated in the “normal people” and the “slaves”. Throughout the class, the slaves had to do ANYTHING the teacher asked us to do for the other normal students, and she kept the separating trait a secret until the end of the class. This technique helped us really realize how much discrimination plays a role in our everyday lives.

  41. Most Interesting Work In my Algebra 2 class, we had to do a final project. Our assignment was to find a real life example that involved some of the math ideas we had learned that year. Everyone did a different topic. I feel like I got more out of that project than I have in any other project. I did mine on roller coasters using piecewise functions and regression equations to find out the equations of the track. I also found the angles of descent using point on the graph…. There was more, but it’s too much to list. Anyways, this project really opened up my eyes and I actually enjoyed doing it.

  42. Most Interesting Work • Researching a person who had a drug or alcohol problem in health and was just interesting learning all about the addiction and how it takes over the person. • An essay about Huck Finn being a racist novel. It was interesting because I had to argue a point I didn’t believe in. • Making a kids’ book in health. This was mot interesting because I was able to understand how people relate to younger children to get a message across.

  43. Most Interesting Work • In my sociology class we did a study where we went to all of the lunches that class period and just sat with different groups of people and study group behavior. Then we mapped out the whole lunch room with where different groups typically sat. It was interesting because I got to go out of my comfort zone and study people. • Last year, in my art class, the most interesting piece I did was an eye project. We had to choose four different artists styles and paint one eye for each style. It presented a challenge but it was fun.

  44. Most Interesting Work • A journal that we had to keep in History class. We had to write a story about what it would be like if we were a certain character during the French Revolution, and we had certain topics to write about with each entry. There were 6 entries.

  45. Most Interesting Work • Last year in my Spanish class we were asked to make a movie trailer in Spanish, and our group was extremely engaged in the task. Most likely because we enjoyed filming our project using our own script, and not something too strict. We were allowed to expand our ideas and present them. • An interesting project we did was in Geometry. It was the centroid project.

  46. IF….THEN: What do our earlier answers imply for…. • Planning? • Instruction? • Assessment? • The use of the textbook?

  47. The 5 Big Ideas The point of school is competent understanding, not prompted recall of content & compliance Competency = independent and effective understanding, in context Understanding = using context for transfer and meaning Intellectual engagement is more likely when it is built in ‘by design’ ‘Backward’ Design: from engaging work and competent understanding not ‘coverage’

  48. KEY: 3 Stages of “Backward” Design Stage 1: Identify the long-term uses of content Stage 2: Determine the most appropriate assessment evidence of such use Stage 3: Determine the most appropriate learning activities and instruction given the goal and evidence

  49. What We Typically Do Identify the topics and content to be covered Determine instruction for teaching and content When grades are due, assess the learning of the content

  50. Exercise Revisit Problem Statements