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An approach to curriculum designed to engage students in inquiry and uncovering ideas.

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Presentation on theme: "An approach to curriculum designed to engage students in inquiry and uncovering ideas."— Presentation transcript:


2 An approach to curriculum designed to engage students in inquiry and uncovering ideas


4 Conceptual framework for instructional designers Backwards Design The Six Facets of Understanding


6 Begin with identifying the desired results Then "work backwards" to develop instruction Traditional approach: define topics to be covered


8 Identify desired results (3) (learning outcomes) Determine acceptable evidence (2) (means to assess if learners have learnt) Plan learning experiences/instruction (1)

9 What should students know, understand, and be able to do? What is worthy of understanding? What enduring understandings are desired?

10 TO KNOW TO KNOW (Know-what, Declarative knowledge, Content) TO UNDERSTAND TO DO TO DO (Know-how, Procedural knowledge, Skills) (Knowledge) Lines of Inquiry: (Knowledge)Concepts Central Idea Enduring Understandings Skills Transdisciplinary SkillsAttitudes

11 TO KNOW TO UNDERSTAND TO DO Stage 2 StageS 1 & 2 Stage 3 * * “Extended POI”

12 How will we know if students have achieved the desired results and met the standards? What will we accept as evidence of student understanding and proficiency?

13 Definition of knowledge (know-that), skills and procedures (know-how) students ought to master [Stages 1, 2 & 3] Definition of materials [Stage 5] Definition of learning /teaching activities (scenarios) [Stage 4]


15 Like “defining goals and objectives” the learning that should endure over the long term BUT: Consider not only the course goals and objectives, but the learning that should endure over the long term E NDURING U NDERSTANDING This is referred to as the E NDURING U NDERSTANDING


17 The enduring understanding is not just “material worth covering" It has enduring value beyond the classroom It is at the heart of the discipline It requires un-coverage of abstract or often misunderstood ideas It offers potential for engaging students

18 Backwards Design uses a question format rather than measurable objectives By answering key questions, students deepen their learning about content and experience an enduring understanding The instructor sets the evidence that will be used to determine that the students have understood the content


20 What questions point toward the big ideas and understandings? What arguable questions deepen inquiry and discussion? What questions provide a broader intellectual focus, hence purpose, to the work?

21 Example: Overall question Overall question: "How does an organism's structure enable it to survive in its environment?" Specific topic question Specific topic question: "How do the structures of amphibians and reptiles support their survival?”


23 Practically speaking, this means turning content standards and outcome statements into question form!

24 Define what forms of assessment will demonstrate that the student acquired the knowledge, understanding, and skill to answer the questions

25 Performance Task Criterion-referenced Assessment Unprompted Assessment & Self-Assessment

26 It’s at the heart of the learning A real-world challenge in the thoughtful and effective use of knowledge and skill It is an authentic test of understanding, in context For PYP: Performance assessments Process-focused assessments Open-ended tasks

27 Quizzes, tests, prompts These provide instructor and student with feedback on how well the facts and concepts are being understood For PYP: Selected responses

28 Observations, dialogues, etc.

29 THINKING AS AN ASSESOR What would be revealing & sufficient evidence of understanding? What performance tasks must anchor the unit and focus the instructional work? How will I be able to distinguish between those who really understand and thoise who don’t (but seem to)? Against what criteria will I distinguish work? What misunderstandings are likely? How will I check for those? THINKING AS AN ACTIVITY DESIGNER What would be interesting and engaging activities on this topic? What resources and materials are available on this topic? What will students be doing in and out of class? What assignments will be given? How will give students a grade (and justify it to their parents)? Will the activities work? Why or why not?

30 Practically speaking, this means designing assessment (and asignments) that evoke possible answers!

31 Determine what sequence of teaching and learning experiences will equip students to develop and demonstrate the desired understanding




35 provide thorough and justifiable accounts of phenomena, facts, and data

36 tell meaningful stories offer apt translations provide a revealing historical or personal dimension to ideas and events make subjects personal or accessible through images, anecdotes, analogies, and models

37 use and adapt knowledge in diverse contexts

38 see and hear points of view through critical eyes and ears see the big picture

39 find value in what others might find odd, alien, or implausible perceive sensitively on the basis of prior indirect experience

40 perceive the personal style, prejudices, projections, and habits of mind that both shape and impede our own understanding be are aware of what one does not understand and why understanding is so hard

41 ExplanationACCURATE InterpretationMEANINGFUL ApplicationEFFECTIVE PerspectiveCREDIBLE EmpathySENSITIVE Self-knowledgeSELF-AWARE


43 D ESIGN Q UESTION D ESIGN C ONSIDERATION D ESIGN C RITERIA D ESIGN A CCOMPLISHMENT What is worthy & requiring of understanding? National & international standards - Teacher expertise Enduring ideas – Opportunities for authentic, discipline-based work – Uncoverage – Engaging Unit framed around enduring understandings and essential questions

44 D ESIGN Q UESTION D ESIGN C ONSIDERATION D ESIGN C RITERIA D ESIGN A CCOMPLISHMENT What is evidence of understanding? Six facets of understanding – Continuum of assessment types Valid – Reliable – Sufficient – Authentic work – Feasible – Student-friendly Unit anchored in credible and educationally vital evidence of the desired understandings

45 D ESIGN Q UESTION D ESIGN C ONSIDERATION D ESIGN C RITERIA D ESIGN A CCOMPLISHMENT What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest and excellence? Research-based repertoire of learning & teaching strategies – Essential & enabling knowledge & skills Hook the students – Explore & equip – Rethink & revise – Exhibit & evaluate Coherent learning experiences & teaching that will evoke & develop desired understandings, promote interest, & make excellent performance more likely

46 What is worthy of understanding in a unit What counts as evidence that students really understand and can use what we are teaching them What knowledge and skills we must teach to enable them to apply their knowledge in meaningful ways


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