Schooling by Design
Anything worth doing is worth doing well, goes the old saying. And doing things well takes time, a sustained effort, and a commitment to critiquing and readjusting the enterprise—especially when it comes to improving schools—emphasize backward design experts Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in their book Schooling by Design: Mission, Action, and Achievement.
This issue of ASCD Express seeks to unpack some of the elements of backward design and their implications for schools, teaching and learning, and curriculum. The questions in the Schooling by Design study guide also help to provide an overview of the book and direct educators to reflect on crucial issues the authors raise about school mission, curriculum, teaching, learning, and leadership.
How Should Backward Design Apply to School Reform?
The backward design approach to structuring effective curriculum takes on the larger issue of schoolwide reform. more
Seven Practices for Effective Learning
Teachers, who are at the heart of any meaningful school reform, can use seven assessment and grading practices to enhance learning in their classrooms. more
Examining the Teaching Life
Schoolwide collaboration and reflection on learning principles can help inform teaching practices and make feedback less threatening for teachers. more
Designing Curriculum: Starting with Big Ideas
Backward design of curriculum begins with the end in mind. What "enduring understandings" or big ideas does a teacher want students to retain for years to come?
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Pulling Back from the Brink
How often does a new principal get a seven-month window of opportunity to avoid NCLB restructuring? more
The Understanding by Design Exchange
The Web-based Understanding by Design Exchange allows educators to work together to develop standards-based curriculum units, invite collegial critiques, and examine units created by others using the principles of backward design. A brief demo shows how users can incorporate their state standards, enter content directly into design templates, and generate reports to monitor their progress.