Monday, June 16, 2014

Understanding by Design - Chapter 3

Standards and Big Ideas
Standards provide teachers with a "focus" for which they teach.

Big Ideas from Lynn Erickson (2001)

  • Broad and abstract
  • Represented by one or two words
  • Universal in application
  • Timeless--carry through the ages
  • Represented by different examples that share common attributes (Erickson 2001 p. 35)

Wiggins and McTigue go on talking about how Ercikson's list of big ideas can be generalized (p. 69)

  • Providing a focusing conceptual lens for any study
  • Providing breadth of meaning by connecting and organizing many facts, skills, and experiences; serving as the linchpin of understanding
  • Pointing to ideas at the heart of expert understanding of a subject
  • Requiring "uncoverage" because its meaning or value is rarely obvious to the learner, is counterintuitive or prone to misunderstanding
  • Having great transfer value; applying to many other inquiries and issues over time--"horizontally" (across subjects) and "vertically" (through the years in later courses) in the curriculum and out of school

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