The Teaching for Understanding Guide

  • ID: 2214592
  • Book
  • 144 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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The Teaching for Understanding Guide

What does it mean to understand something? How do students develop understanding? How can teachers know how well they understand and support the development of understanding?

Teaching for Understanding describes an approach to teaching that requires students to think, analyze, problem solve, and make meaning of what they′ve learned. Teaching for Understanding: Linking Research with Practice introduced the approach and the research that supports it. Now this companion workbook shows teachers how to use the four critical components of the Teaching for Understanding Framework.
Based on extensive research conducted by Project Zero and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, The Teaching for Understanding Guide offers teachers a practical way to apply the concepts of the Teaching for Understanding framework––both in the classroom and in curriculum planning.

Using classroom examples from science, mathematics, language arts and social sciences, and reflecting the input of practicing teachers, the workbook shows how teachers can

∗∗Choose topics that engage student interest and connect readily to other subjects
∗∗Set coherent unit and course goals
∗∗Create activities that develop an demonstrate students′ understanding
∗∗Improve student performance by providing continual feedback

Brief case studies of teachers using this approach illustrate the process in action. Simple planning sheets and teaching units make this guide a useful resource for developing curriculum. Reflection sections at the end of each chapter suggest related activities, issues, and questions to facilitate further exploration of the chapter′s ideas. The challenging process of rethinking classroom practice can lead to a new level of student understanding and learning. This how–to guide gives teachers the practical tools for making understanding more achievable in the classroom.

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1. What This Guide Is (and Isn′t).

2. Understanding Understanding.

3. The Teaching for Understanding Framework.

4. Generative Topics.

5. Understanding Goals.

6. Performances of Understanding.

7. Ongoing Assessment.

8. Tips and Tools for Planning and Teaching.

9. Teaching for Understanding and Other Educational Practices.
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"A Baedeker′s Guide to learning to understand––the ability to know and resourcefully use that knowing––and to teaching toward that goal.... This handbook will both encourage and assist those teachers who take on the important challenge of helping their students to think deeply and resourcefully and to use that intellectual power constructively." ––Theodore R. Sizer, chairman, Coalition of Essential Schools

"In exploring the process of teaching for understanding as teachers practice it, this monograph succeeds, as few do, in providing different ways of entering a teachers world. Building on teachers′ ′inside knowledge,′ the authors engage, provoke and coach–in just the right ways–so that I, as a teacher, excited by these new ideas, want the semester to begin tomorrow!" ––Ann Lieberman, Teachers College, Columbia University

"This handbook is a Baedeker′s Guide to learning to understand––the ability to know and resourcefully to use that knowing––and to teaching toward that goal. The text is a readable, comprehensive mixture of argument, explanation, direction and example. The And of ′deep understanding′ is a complex idea and in many schools a lamentably unfamiliar one. While never trivializing the subtlety of the task, this handbook will both encourage and assist those teachers who take on the important challenge of helping their students to think deeply and resourcefully and to use that intellectual power constructively." ––Theodore R. Sizer, Chairman

"The Team at Harvard Project Zero has approached the search for [ital]understanding, using skills and knowledge, from an incredibly pragmatic perspective. They offer complex ideas and sophisticated strategies in a style that is both readily understandable and full of implications and directions for classroom use. Teachers and administrators will benefit from this thoughtful work!" ––Thomas R. Hoerr, director of the New City School in St. Louis, MO

"Teaching that has understanding at its heart needs a powerful structure that nurtures thinking, personal engagement and meaningful encounters with curriculum. In our efforts to make teaching meaningful and learning matter, the Teaching for Understanding framework has been an invaluable resource." ––Susan Elhardt and Richard Walker, adjunct professors through Seattle Pacific University
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