Presentation on theme: "1 “Best Practice” & The Habits We MUST Change Grant Wiggins December 2006."— Presentation transcript:
1 “Best Practice” & The Habits We MUST Change Grant Wiggins December 2006
2 Some Key Questions: How do people learn best? What follows for planning and instruction? “Am I doing ‘best practice’? Or am I stuck in unhelpful habits?” What do our goals demand of our methods of instruction? If genuine understanding is the long-term goal, what follows for my learning and teaching?
3 Key findings for instruction, according to How People Learn (from National Academy of Sciences): 1. Teachers must draw out and work with preexisting understandings. 2. Teachers must teach some subject matter in depth, providing many examples in which the same concept is at work. 3. The teaching of metacognitive skills should be integrated into the curriculum in a variety of subject areas.
4 “How People Learn” “1. Students come to the classroom with preconceptions. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp the new concepts and information.
5 How People Learn “2. To develop competence, students must: Have a deep foundation of factual knowledge Understand facts and ideas in a conceptual framework Organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application
6 How people learn “Students develop flexible under- standing of when, where, why, and how to use their knowledge to solve new problems if they learn how to extract underlying principles and themes from their learning exercises.” - How People Learn, p.224
7 How People Learn “Learning with understanding is more likely to promote transfer than simply memorizing information from a text or a lecture.” - How People Learn, p 224
8 How People Learn “3. A metacognitive approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their learning: The teaching of metacognitive activities must be incorporated into the subject matter.
9 Commonly-cited student understanding weaknesses Inability to analyze/interpret texts and events; students end up just retelling Inability to see how today’s problem in math requires the same skills we have been working on, though the content or wording of the problem is different Inability to use the foreign language in a simulated situation that calls for what was recently taught Failure to use the writing process or reading strategy if not prompted to do so Not answering the question asked; failure to stop and consider: what does this question/task/problem demand?
13 “Nothing personal, but…” We all have a few habits that are neither helpful nor in line with ‘Best Practice’ For example, many of us too often – Confuse the textbook with a valid syllabus based on transfer goals Confuse fun activities with learning “Teach” without checking for understanding early and often enough Test what is easier to test and grade rather than what is most in line with our personal and institutional long-term goals We all have a few habits that are neither helpful nor in line with ‘Best Practice’ For example, many of us too often – Confuse the textbook with a valid syllabus based on transfer goals Confuse fun activities with learning “Teach” without checking for understanding early and often enough Test what is easier to test and grade rather than what is most in line with our personal and institutional long-term goals
14 Nothing personal: “Best design” characteristics (from 8000+ educators) Clear goals and explicit performance requirements Models and modeling provided A genuine challenge/problem/question frames work that stretches you - real, meaningful tasks Lots of focused practice, feedback, and opportunities to use it built in - not over-planned and taught Trial and error, reflection and adjustment are expected, encouraged and ‘designed in’ The teacher is more of a facilitator, coach There is a safe, supportive environment for risk-taking, trying out new learning ‘Designed in’ variety, choice, and attention to difference A good mix of collaboration/solo work Immersion, active, hands-on - and earlier than typically done Clear goals and explicit performance requirements Models and modeling provided A genuine challenge/problem/question frames work that stretches you - real, meaningful tasks Lots of focused practice, feedback, and opportunities to use it built in - not over-planned and taught Trial and error, reflection and adjustment are expected, encouraged and ‘designed in’ The teacher is more of a facilitator, coach There is a safe, supportive environment for risk-taking, trying out new learning ‘Designed in’ variety, choice, and attention to difference A good mix of collaboration/solo work Immersion, active, hands-on - and earlier than typically done
15 Backward Design Plans need to be well aligned to be effective Aimless activity & coverage Transfer as goal It is the essence of understanding and the point of schooling Focus on big ideas that’s how transfer happens, makes learning more connected Students fail to apply, poor results on tests Meaningful learning that’s what is most engaging and inviting You lose many kids over time Learning is fragmented, more difficult, less engaging UbD big idea Why important? If not…
16 Effective Instruction Acquire Learning for Understanding Understanding Make Meaning Transfer Crucial to to get the balance & sequence right!
17 Try out Receive, Encounter Goal: internalization and broadening of knowledge & skill; initial apprehension & surface understanding Acquire Get Feedback Practice, Reinforce & Extend Refine/ Relearn, as needed
18 Make Meaning Hypothesize, Generalize Evaluate Your Idea(s) Probing & Analysis Evoked Challenged (Current Understanding is Challenged) Goal: Learner-made connections, deepened understanding by developing and “testing” ideas, given what was acquired & experienced
19 Transfer Evaluate Adjust Apply Goal: autonomy & fluency of performance in increasingly complex and novel situations, on worthy tasks TransferTransfer Get Feedback
20 Learning for Understanding Acquire Make Meaning Try out Practice, Reinforce & Extend Receive, Encounter Evaluate Apply Hypothesize, Generalize Test & Evaluate Your Ideas Thinking Evoked Transfer Get Feedback Get Feedback Refine/ Relearn as needed Adjust
21 Challenge current understandings in various ways: 1.Provide additional information that requires a student to extend the tentative understanding (broaden and confirm) 2.Provide conflicting information (contradiction, requiring re-thinking) 3.Propose an alternative understanding (challenge, requiring consideration of the same problem in a new light; might ultimately confirm or contradict) 4.Add complexity to the issue (deepen, likely confirming some pieces and contradicting others) 5.Compare this understanding to previous understandings about related issues (connect and synthesize) Make Meaning
22 Challenge current understandings in various ways: 6.Provide a problem that cannot be solved with a naïve understanding (contradict and create the need for an alternative understanding) 7.Require a defense (student examines underpinnings of understanding, considering evidence) 8.Introduce a different perspective that must be accounted for 9.Test the understanding against a new problem (may confirm, contradict, or require adjustment) Make Meaning
23 Example: English First you arrange things into groups. Of course, one pile may be enough, depending on how much there is to do; but some things definitely need to be separated from the others. A mistake here can be expensive; it is better to do too few things at once than too many. The procedure does not take long; when it is finished, you arrange things into different groups again, so that they can be put away, where they belong. Make Meaning
24 My son’s teacher’s EQs (9th grade Global Interdependence) Whom should we care for? How do we identify ourselves? What causes conflict? Why do people abuse their power over others? Does global interdependence help or harm the people involved? How do our economic and political choices affect others? Do human beings have rights? Are people "equal"? What does it mean to say that people have “rights” and are all “equal”? What responsibilities do we have to others in the world? What responsibilities do governments have to people? What responsibilities do corporations have to people? Is there right and wrong? If there is right and wrong, how do I come to know it? How does one live in the world with integrity? How well do my choices, words, and actions reflect my values? What habits and attitudes do I need to be successful in life? How can ‘Global’ help? What information should you trust? How do we know what to believe? How do we know what we know about the past? What are the key challenges and responsibilities of historians?
25 Math Example: When isn’t ‘the shortest distance’ a straight line? Discuss: Real world vs. Euclid’s world - in the 3D physical world, what assumptions (axioms) must differ? (Meaning) Students respond to some prompts e.g.: In our school, the shortest distance between any classroom and the main door is… In flying long distances, the shortest distance between cities in 2 different countries is.. Teacher describes spherical and “taxicab” geometry as alternatives, and students read the chapter on other geometries from the textbook (Acquire) KWL: What do you want to/need to know about this topic? (Meaning) Write a guidebook for the geometry of your school (Transfer) Evaluate what we learned and what questions we still have about the text and the issue - KWLQ (Meaning) A M T M M
26 Acquire Make Meaning Transfer Don’t presume a fixed sequence! In fact, most units should begin with meaning-making In fact, most units should begin with meaning-making
27 EXAMPLE: 3rd grade language arts; “tall tales” and story-telling When is it “exaggeration” and when is it “lying” in telling a story? How much liberty does a storyteller have to stretch the truth? “Be ready to offer your ideas in response to the question, in light of the story “Papa Tells Chita a Story” AND your own experience with “tall tales” “Use the provided Essential Question sheets “Pose 2-3 new questions you have - about the issue and the story “Write an essay on the essential question, based on all our work” Make Meaning
28 More generally, prior to acquisition... Set up the text/content with an essential question Ask learners to share experiences/ideas/ questions related to the issues and the text Pre-assessment of prior learning and experience Make Meaning
29 Reading example Then, Acquire to grasp the gist of the story Use the provided “story map” to identify plot, sequence, “problem” Use the hints/scaffolds in the Textbook Summarize the story in your own words Teach background knowledge, as needed Make Meaning Acquire
30 “tall tales” and story-telling Use the provided Questioning sheet to link the story to the Essential Question Meaning is further enhanced and understanding deepened by reading 1-2 more stories that offer other points of view on the same question and/or that suggest different answers than the ones tentatively reached thus far. Follow up the new readings with: Have I changed my mind? If so, why? If not, why not? Acquire Make Meaning
31 Transfer “Make up or tell a story with some exaggeration in it “Get feedback and adjust, as needed “Listen to others’ stories “Discuss: which exaggeration is ‘ok’ and which isn’t; which ones work and which don’t? Why? Acquire Transfer
32 Teaching & Learning For Understandi ng What’s going on here? What is this about? What should I make of this? What is problematic here? What is causing that? What are the key facts? What’s the evidence? What questions does this raise? What is significant here? These learner questions need to be evoked ‘by design’, not by the teacher : Make Meaning
33 Teaching & Learning For Understandi ng What’s going on here? What is this about? What should I make of this? What is problematic here? What is causing that? What are the key facts? What’s the evidence? What questions does this raise? What is significant here? These learner questions need to become autonomous Transfer
34 Transfer Stages: 1.Highly scaffolded and teacher prompted 2.LATER: Some scaffold, limited teacher prompting 3.BY THE END: No scaffold or teacher prompt: student must activate and employ the learning on their own from a repertoire Transfer
35 Consider Reading: Activate Prior Knowledge Adjust Reading Rate/Rereading Ask Questions: Before, During, and After Classify or Categorize Information Compare and Contrast Ideas Distinguish Facts from Opinions Identify and Analyze Text Structure Identify Author’s Purpose Identify Author’s Viewpoint Identify Main Ideas and Supporting Details Make Inferences and Draw Conclusions Make and Refine Predictions Paraphrase/Retell Sequence Events Summarize Information Use Context Clues to Decipher Unfamiliar Words Visualize Images From Text Transfer
36 Teaching & Learning for Understanding Quickly consider: What of it? What does this mean? Acquire Make Meaning Realize the need to acquire more knowledge and skill
37 Teaching & Learning for Understanding Soon, try to apply your learning in realistic settings AcquireTransfer Realize the need to acquire more knowledge and skill
38 Try out & refine Reinforce & Extend Receive, Encounter Evaluate Adjust Apply General -ize Test & Evaluate Your Idea Probe & Analyze Traditional “coverage” makes the mistake of going through endless acquisition loops without sufficient opportunities to make meaning or transfer learning Acquire Make Meaning Transfer
39 Try out & refine Reinforce & Extend Receive, Encounter Evaluate Adjust Apply General -ize Test & Evaluate Your Idea Probing Evoked Many “rigorous” courses make the mistake of ignoring the teaching, learning, and assessing of student transfer AcquireAcquire MakeMeaningMakeMeaningTransferTransfer
40 Try out & refine Reinforce & Extend Receive, Encounter Evaluate Adjust Apply General -ize Test & Evaluate Your Idea Probing Evoked Many “skills” courses make the mistake of ignoring the learner’s need to understand the wise use of strategies and concepts AcquireAcquire MakeMeaningMakeMeaningTransferTransfer
41 An entire AP history course framed by such tasks: Your goal is to determine why the urban riots of the late 60's happened. You are one of many august members of an LBJ appointed panel, the Kerner Commission, who must report to the president and the country on why the violence happened and what can be done about it. You will produce a collective report that must be thoughtful, thorough, and clearly presented. Your personal contribution will be judged through journal entries, observations of work and discussion, and sections of writing you produce.
42 Purposeful Learning, aligned with goals The essence of backward design ALIGNMENT of learning with goals and evidence: Determine how to teach and what to teach by the demands of Stages 1 and 2, not habit or comfort level of the approach The key question, then: what learning is needed? How can the needed learning best occur? Think of “teaching” and “content” as resources, not the causes of learning. Think of textbook as resource, not the syllabus
43 What research says on teaching for transfer Halpern and Hakel, in Change: “The single most important variable in promoting long- term retention and transfer is "practice at retrieval." This principle means that learners need to generate responses, with minimal cues, repeatedly over time with varied applications so that recall becomes fluent and is more likely to occur across different contexts and content domains. Simply stated, information that is frequently retrieved becomes more retrievable. In the jargon of cognitive psychology, the strength of the "memory trace" for any information that is recalled grows stronger with each retrieval.”
44 What research says on teaching for transfer “The effects of practice at retrieval are necessarily tied to a second robust finding in the learning literature-- spaced practice is preferable to massed practice…Space the intervals between instances of retrieval so that the time between them becomes increasingly longer. Applying this principle, a first examination to test a given concept or element of knowledge might be given to students one day after the initial learning, the second exam a few days after the first, the third a week after the second, and the fourth a month after the third, with the interval for each subsequent exam determined by the level of accuracy of student performance on the preceding one.
45 Research on transfer (cont.) “Varying the conditions under which learning takes place makes learning harder for learners but results in better learning. Like practice at retrieval, varied learning conditions pay high dividends for the effort exerted.
46 Transfer Research 3) Learning is generally enhanced when learners are required to take information that is presented in one format and "re-represent" it in an alternative format.
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