VaNTH-PER Workshop April 12, 2003 The University of Texas at ...

VaNTH-PER Workshop April 12, 2003 The University of Texas at ...

VaNTH-PER Workshop April 12, 2003 The University of Texas at Austin presented by Barb Austin A Brief Introduction To Understanding By Design by Wiggins & McTighe Four Vignettes: Number 1

As part of a workshop on understanding, a veteran high school teacher entered the following reflection about being a high school student: I felt then that my brain was a weigh station for material going in one ear and (after the test) out the other. I could memorize very easily and so became valedictorian, but I was embarrassed even then that I understood much less than some other students who cared less about grades. Four Vignettes: Number 2 For two weeks, every fall, all the 4rd grade classes participate in a unit on apples.

In language arts, they read Johnny Appleseed. They each write a creative story involving an apple and then illustrate their story using tempura paints. In art, students collect leaves from nearby crab apple trees and make a giant leaf print collage. The music teacher teaches the children songs about apples. In science, they use their senses to carefully observe and describe the characteristics of different types of apples. During mathematics, the teacher demonstrates how to scale up an applesauce recipe to make a sufficient quantity for all of the 3rd graders. Four Vignettes: Number 2 A highlight of the unit is the field trip to a local apple orchard, where students watch cider being made and

go on a hayride. The culminating unit activity is the 4th grade apple fest parents dress up as apples and children rotate through various activities at stations making applesauce, competing in an apple word search contest, bobbing for apples and so on. The fest concludes with selected students reading their apple stories while the entire group enjoys candy apples prepared by the cafeteria staff. Four Vignettes: Number 3 A test item on a national mathematics assessment

presented the following question to 8th grade students: How many buses does the army need to transport 1,128 soldiers if each bus holds 36 soldiers? Almost one-third of the 8th graders answered the question, 31 remainder 12. Four Vignettes: Number 4 It is late April and the panic is beginning to set in. A quick calculation reveals to the world history teacher that s/he will not finish the text book unless s/he covers an average of 40 pages per day. S/He decides, with some regret, to eliminate a mini-unit on the

Caribbean and several time-consuming activities such as a mock UN debate and discussions of current international events in relation to the world history topics students have studied. To prepare students for the departmental final exam, the teacher will need to switch into a fast-forward lecture mode. Four Vignettes Number 1: Valedictorian Number 2: 4th Grade Apple Unit Number 3: Remainder Buses?

Number 4: World History Blitz Desired Results What should students know, understand, and be able to do? What is worthy of understanding? What enduring understandings are desired? Backwards Design Identify desired results

Determine acceptable evidence Plan learning experiences and instruction Working Lunch Conversation Starters Heres how I teach ________ My students never understand ______ I dont like teaching _______ I dont really know how to teach ______ Curriculum Frame Worth being familiar with

Important to know and do Enduring understanding Six Facets of Understanding 1. Can Explain 4. Has Perspective 2. Can Interpret 5. Can Empathize

3. Can Apply 6. Has Self-knowledge Six Facets of Understanding 4. Has Perspective 1. Can Explain Provide thorough, supported, and justifiable accounts of phenomenon, facts, and data 2. Can Interpret

Sees points of view through critical eyes and ears; sees the big picture 5. Can Empathize Finds value in what others might find odd, alien, or implausible; perceive sensitively on the basis of prior direct experience Tells meaningful stories; offers apt translations; provides a revealing historical or personal dimension to ideas and events; make them

6. Has Self-knowledge personal or accessible through Perceives the personal style, images, anecdotes, analogies, and prejudices, projections, and models habits of mind that both shape and impede ones own 3. Can Apply understanding. One is aware of Effectively uses and adapts what what one does not understand, of why understanding is hard, and of he or she knows in diverse how one comes to understand contexts

Curriculum Frame Worth being familiar with Important to know and do Enduring understanding Four Filters 1. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process

represent a big idea having enduring value beyond the classroom? 2. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process lie at the heart of the discipline? 3. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process require uncoverage? 4. To what extent does the idea, topic, or process

offer potential for engaging students? Skills v. Understanding SKILL UNDERSTANDING Reading text The authors meaning in a story is rarely explicit; one must read between the lines Creating scoring opportunities in soccer

One needs to create space, spreading the defense as broadly and deeply as possible Asking directions in Spanish Knowing whether or not one has been understood requires attention to nonverbal as well as verbal feedback Speaking persuasively in public Persuasion often involves an emotional appeal

to the particular wishes, needs, hopes, and fears of an audience, irrespective of how logical and rational the argument

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