“Best Practice” & The
Habits We MUST Change
Grant Wiggins
December 2006
1
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?
2
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.
3
“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.
4
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
5
How people learn
“Students develop flexible understanding 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
6
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
7
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.
8
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?
9
10
11
12
“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
13
and institutional long-term goals
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
14
UbD big idea
Why
important?
If not…
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
Students fail to apply,
poor results on tests
Focus on big ideas
that’s how transfer
happens, makes
learning more
connected
Learning is fragmented,
more difficult,
less engaging
Meaningful learning
that’s what is most
engaging and inviting
You lose many kids
over time
15
Make
Meaning
Acquire
Learning for
Understanding
Effective
Crucial to Instruction
to get the balance
& sequence right!
Transfer
16
Receive, Encounter
Practice,
Reinforce
& Extend
Refine/
Relearn, as
needed
Acquire
Try out
Get Feedback
Goal: internalization and broadening of knowledge
& skill; initial apprehension & surface
17
understanding
Probing & Analysis Evoked
(Current Understanding is Challenged)
Make Meaning
Evaluate
Your
Idea(s)
Hypothesize,
Generalize
Goal: Learner-made connections, deepened
understanding by developing and “testing” ideas,
given what was acquired & experienced 18
Apply
Adjust
Transfer
Transfer
Get
Feedback
Evaluate
Goal: autonomy & fluency of performance in
increasingly complex and novel situations,
19
on worthy tasks
Receive, Encounter
Practice,
Reinforce
& Extend
Acquire
Refine/
Relearn as
Get
needed
Feedback
Thinking
Evoked
Try out
Make
Meaning
Learning for
Understanding
Hypothesize,
Generalize
Test &
Evaluate
Your Ideas
Apply
Adjust
Transfer
Evaluate
Get
Feedback
20
Challenge current understandings in
various ways:
Make
Meaning
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)
21
Challenge current understandings
in various ways:
Make
Meaning
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)
22
Example: English
Make
Meaning
 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.
23
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?
24
Math Example:
 When isn’t ‘the shortest distance’ a
straight line?
 Discuss: Real world vs. Euclid’s world - in the 3D physical world,
M
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..
A
M
T
M
 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
25
the text and the issue - KWLQ (Meaning)
Acquire
Make
Meaning
Don’t presume a fixed sequence!
In fact, most units
should begin with
meaning-making
Transfer
26
EXAMPLE: 3rd grade language arts; “tall tales” and
story-telling
Make
Meaning

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”
27
More generally, prior to acquisition...
Make
Meaning
 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
28
Reading example
Make
Meaning
Acquire
 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
29
“tall tales” and story-telling
Acquire
Make
Meaning
 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
30
mind? If so, why? If not, why not?
Transfer
Acquire
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?
31
These learner questions
need to be evoked ‘by
design’, not by the teacher:
Make
Meaning
•What’s going on here?
•What is this about?
•What should I make of this?
•What& is problematic here?
Teaching
•What is causing that?
Learning
•What are the key facts? What’s
For
the evidence?
Understandi
ng
•What
questions does this raise?
•What is significant here?
32
These learner questions
need to become
autonomous
Transfer
•What’s going on here?
•What is this about?
•What should I make of this?
•What& is problematic here?
Teaching
•What is causing that?
Learning
•What are the key facts? What’s
For
the evidence?
Understandi
ng
•What
questions does this raise?
•What is significant here?
33
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
34
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
35
Make
Meaning
Teaching &
Learning
for
Understanding
Acquire
36
Transfer
Teaching &
Learning
for
Understanding
Acquire
37
Receive, Encounter
Reinforce
& Extend
Acquire
Try out
& refine
Traditional “coverage” makes the mistake of
going through endless acquisition loops without
sufficient opportunities to make meaning or
transfer learning
Apply
Probe & Analyze
Transfer
Adjust
Evaluate
Test &
Evaluate
Your Idea
Make
Meaning
38
General
-ize
Receive, Encounter
Acquire
Reinforce
& Extend
Try out
& refine
Many “rigorous” courses
make the mistake of ignoring
the teaching, learning, and
assessing of student transfer
Apply
Probing Evoked
Transfer
Adjust
Evaluate
Test &
Evaluate
Your Idea
Make
Meaning
39
General
-ize
Receive, Encounter
Reinforce
& Extend
Acquire
Try out
& refine
Many “skills” courses make
the mistake of ignoring the
learner’s need to understand
the wise use of strategies and
concepts
Apply
Probing Evoked
Transfer
Adjust
Evaluate
Test &
Evaluate
Your Idea
Make
Meaning
40
General
-ize
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.
41
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
42
What research says on
teaching for transfer
Halpern and Hakel, in Change:
 “The single most important variable in promoting longterm 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.”
43
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.
44
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.
45
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.
46
for further information
 Contact us:
[email protected]
Check out Big Ideas, a monthly
online newsletter:
www.bigideas.org
47
Descargar

Understanding by Design