Understanding by Design December 3, 2008 All Faculty Meeting
Understanding & the Logic of UbD What does understanding mean to us at BFIS?
Understanding & the Logic of UbD Do we want the same outcome for our students?
Understanding & the Logic of UbD Are our standards of achievement the same?
Absence of Understanding Would you agree that even in our best students and their work, we sometimes see • Amnesia • Misunderstanding • Rigid knowledge, no transfer
But, what is Understanding? • How do you define it? • What does and doesn’t it look like? • How do you design for it?
So, what is Understanding • Common sense: to “get it” means, in part, that you can: • Make connections: turn isolated facts into a working theory and web of information • Infer meanings that are only implicit • Interpret situations/texts • Generalize from your experience • Apply your “abstract” ideas to concrete tasks & contexts
Understanding- a definition • Effective use of knowledge and skill – in varied, important, realistic, and novel situations; • Insight into key ideas, their rationale, and their connections, as reflected in wise expression – knowing and showing “why?” and “so what?”
Now that we have defined understanding… • What does the goal of understanding require of the learning? • Think of the work the students do and the instructional activities/assessments you plan • What follows from your definition of understanding about what has to happen in class and in assignments/assessments to make student understanding more likely?
So, our assessments must involve asking learners to make connections, infer meanings, etc. with minimal or no scaffolding and cues (since that is the long-term goal: transfer)
Think and Apply • Take a current lesson, an upcoming lesson or assessment and on the index card write 2-3 ways in which you can make student understanding more likely
Share at your table • If time permits, share 1 of your ideas with your table group and listen to others
Please turn in your card at the end of the meeting If you would like it back, you may write your name on it.