Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM
The author of the book is – yeah you guessed it, it is a book that we are reading from Grant Wiggins called Understanding by Design (2005). This is the book that we had talked about the other day and that we had ordered three of (different books). This particular chapter really is into backward design and what the author meant by backward design is taking the results and starting with that in making instructional design plans rather than the activities themselves. The activities were something that should stem from really big ideas and the work was to incorporate the diversity of students and their varied interest so that people were individually learning although they might be in a group - they were really targeting their own aspirations. He talked about cultural goals and that was finding differences and similarities between people and trying to understand that and accept that it is okay to be different, and to have more of a tolerance for others in society.
At this point, we talked about how trauma would put us in our own social cultural group and we were curious in our minds as we are reading how to connect this with life's lessons and connect this information or this way of being with the interest of others. He said using computers and technology to help define purpose would be important in a manner of its being a tool toward finding resources the author suggests looking for things that would provide hope and cause in learning and understanding things. We are learning, and how we are learning, and generic questions of why it's important that we are learning, shows us that these kind of statements should fuel us to learning from the kind of assignments that we are reading or the designs we are planning and that basically it is the essence of design. This obviously steps away from the kind of rote learning that is done in schools most often where the teacher gives a lecture that pretty much lays dormant in your brain.
The author talked about this kind of learning as priority and that they were derived from the curriculum where performances were written-out as goals. He suggested looking for things that would count as evidence - what does achievement look like to meet these goals and what then are the implied performances that should make up the assessment goals and performance were tied together and with assessments they were discussing trying to get feed on where people were before they started the learning process and then afterword’s and how to best encourage learners to be doing such important thinking work.
Wiggins then stated that there were three stages of backward design where stage one was identifying desired results stage II was determining acceptable evidence and stage III was plan learning experiences and instruction. In stage one they discussed what students know and understand and what they are able to do and then try to understand what content was worthy of them understanding and which parts would most likely stay with them in and turn make learning worthwhile. He emphasized being able to make choices and then with clarity finding what our priorities were. In the second stage determining acceptable evidence, he talked here about knowing whether or not these learners were learning what the desired results were supposed to have been. Again this has to do with assessments and providing tools that could validate the learning that you hope to have achieved. In stage III he plans learning experiences. Instruction - this is where we are able to fully think out what the activities for learning are going to be and with this we enable knowledge and skill building to effectively reach the goals that we had listed in stage I and these become performance goals.
It is important at this point to elaborate that knowledge is equal to facts, concepts, and principles, and skills are equal to processes, procedures, strategies and they equal efficiency and achievement of desired goals Wiggins thought that if you worked with others in defining these strengths that the collaborative effort would lead to greater curricular coherence and the information will be more reliable than just one teacher working on it individually. He also thought that doing the method as suggested would provide insight. He wrote the purpose of the statement of objective is to indicate that kinds of changes in the student be brought about so instructional activities can be planned and developed in a way likely to attain these objectives again were working toward content learning and away from activity based or coverage-based design because those methods are just not challenging to learners. Wiggins stated that learners who understood and were able to apply material would have the intellectual scaffolding to provide insight into their future endeavors he also called this results-based teaching.
The next section was a backward design template and here he had tried to assist us in understanding the design tools so that we can be more productive and that would mean forcing appropriate habits of mind to complete the design that could be understood by learners. He had different versions of the design and we have the 1 to 6 page design available to us at the end of our reading. On page 22 he gives the template with design questions for teachers that were just the one page design and we should go back to that later. To summarize the different stages again, stage I asked the designers what they want the students to understand of events, and then to frame those understanding in terms of questions. Stage II prompts the designer to develop a variety of assessment methods for gathering evidence that the individuals were understanding the work, and finally stage III is where the designer lists major learning activities and lessons and he emphasize here using the “whereto” elements.
Whereto were elements that were part of the design and in creating learning activities about learning experiences - instruction enables students to achieve the desired results. The design acronyms stand for W – as helping the learners know where the unit would be going and what is expected from them, and also to help the teacher know where the students are coming from prior knowledge and interest. The H - hooks all students and holds their interest. E- Is to equip students and help them experience the key ideas and explore issues. R - Is to provide opportunities to rethink and revise their understandings and work. I - is to allow students to evaluate the work and its implications. I think this comes out in the reading material as E2. T is to be tailored or personalized the different needs interest abilities of learners, and then O is to be organized to maximize and sustain engagement as well as create effective learning.
For design standards the author, Wiggins, provides more templates corresponding to backward design and with these examples he filled in the reading with an example of what nutritional eating might be within the model. He also came up with stage III a plan learning experiences so this is a list of 19 different activities that utilize where to set up specific task. He thought that the standards contributed to three things. First was a reference point during the design where we could check for an example and identify the direction we wanted to go, and to also use it as a rubric. The second way was to use it for a self-assessment and also peer’s review of draft designs so that people could work together and three for quality control to assure that the standards were met and the individual reviewer's work was incorporated into the whole. Wiggins is a big advocate of professional development as being powerful approach to learning and he considers the reviewers as critical friends.
Wiggins talked about design tools and here he looked towards refining design tools to support teachers and curriculum developers and he said that he had found an array of scaffolds – prompts, organizers, idea sheets, and examples to help educators produce higher-quality designs. And then at this point Wiggins introduces a character example in his own design called Bob James, and we followed him as he was putting together and identifying needs as well as developing the assessments and planning experiences. As to other comments on the design process Wiggins noted that the assessments and performance task related to sources of evidence which served as teaching targets and would help the teachers sharpen their focus on instruction from which to better enable the students. He thought it was likely that one could utilize other favorite activities in the process, but they would have to be revised to accomplish the results at the beginning of the design process. He thought that that the textbook could be used also, but that it would have to be taken part by part to discover which parts were most meaningful and which parts could be left out.
In summary, Wiggins wrote that backward design yields greater coherence among desired results, key performances and teaching and learning experiences resulting in better student performance – the purpose of design. He wrote a list to better understanding his design matrix which includes key design questions, notes which chapters of the book covers those areas design considerations, filters and what the final design accomplished, and he did this within three stages of questions. He asked what the worthy and appropriate results are. What is the key desired learning? What should students come away understanding? Going and being able to do? His big ideas frame all these objectives. Those are all stage I questions. Stage II questions were what is the evidence of the desired results and in particular what the appropriate evidence of the desired understanding is. And then lastly, in stage III he asked what learning activities and teaching promote understanding knowledge skill student interest and excellence.
That concludes the chapter to which obviously sets up databases for the following chapters we had to read chapters 3 & 4, and then the appendix which were examples of his models.
The third chapter is gaining clarity on our goals. Wiggins begins with backward design being goal directed in that it aims for specific results and then the design lead the process backward until activities were chosen for the purposes of the goals. Wiggins states that not all targets were equal and that some had more value than others. He listed two reoccurring problems in design which he called the twin sins and the first one was aimless coverage of content, and second isolated activities that were merely engaging at best while disconnected from intellectual goals to the learners minds. He considered the different aims as being simultaneously in play. The lesson template was designed to queue the teacher into distinct places such as the established goals, understandings, essential questions, knowledge, and skills, and then on page 57 he provides a figure which identifies the desired results of stage I by listing established goals, what understandings are desired, what essential questions will be considered, and what key knowledge and skills will students acquire as a result of this unit.
Wiggins considered that established goals were the normal, long-term goals, such as state content standards, district program goals, department objectives, and exit level outcomes – the desired results that establish priorities for instruction and assessment. He defined academic aims as factual, conceptual, procedural, dispositional, and experience-based, or generically as habits of the mind which included the tolerance of ambiguity, and the persistence of demanding challenges, and values and attitudes along with academic and topical goals. He thought in argument of his essential questions that in stage I, we should highlight the big ideas that are central to the design - ideas that require students addressing and he noted that the essential questions will recur and have really no final resolution. He stated by pursuing the question as opposed to answering it for the student, that it would encourage designers to avoid coverage and really commit to inquiry such as discussion, reflection, problem solving, research, and debate and these things would provide deep understanding of the essential ideas.
He observed that understanding must be comprehended and that knowledge need only be apprehended, and he noted that this would be discussed later. He also uses the words skill and here he referred to the discrete techniques, but also the complex procedures and methods, and he said that here the designer needed to commit to results and require guided practice and coaching, stating what the students will be able to do within the units. Skill related aims could focus on techniques and approaches and processes as opposed performance goals. When asked later what skills students were missing, professors complained most about the student inability to transfer the lessons from the lectures and reading to new issues and cases, to which they were asked how often do they get a chance to practice and then be given ideas as to how to apply ideas. I'm guessing here that that's nonexistent. Wiggins thought that content knowledge were the tools and material of intellectual competence made useful by all the aspects of stage I learning and that backward design greatly improves the likelihood that the key capacities will not fall into the cracks.
Higgins wrote that over time understanding has to be inferred from well-designed and well facilitated experiences, where a good deal of knowledge can be learned from readings and lectures. This is the difference between understanding and knowledge. He wrote that understanding and skill is different. Cognitive and learning goals are equal to content standards or learning outcomes and that the student should be able to know and do.
Page 60 then talks about the standards movement and here he suggested that standards really applied to the things that learners were expected to know and be able to do in various disciplines usually written standards provided a focus for curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Although in reality, three common problems were that they overloaded problems onto the teacher and the sheer numbers could not be accomplished, so there would be not enough time to accomplish all these goals especially if the standards were discrete and disconnected rather than providing an umbrella. The second common problem is that sometimes standards are too big, for example the work that we're doing in this course to read 100 pages and then to this comment - if you don’t think this is ridiculous. Okay, I didn't mean to get off on that sorry.
Wiggins discusses goals that were clearly too global to be helpful to teachers and curriculum writers and then conversely he talked about factlet's which were standards that were too specific and easily measurable and meet the content standards of being a standard was more like recall and recognition. And then, he listed the third problem as being nebulous so that different people could define each lesson in different ways so that it defeated its intentions instead of being clear, consistent, and coherent of educational goals.
The next section was called unpacking standards and here they discussed witnessing teacher planners, curriculum developers, and assessment designers struggling with standards problems and that is one means of coping that the content standards had to be unpacked and identify the big ideas and core task within such as the essential question. For example,” how does where you live influence how you live and work” is broad, but can be taken one thought process at a time. As for core task he thought that most documents identified them in tandem with the key skills of which they are parts so that key ideas are identified as well as performance indicators and sample task. In doing this, he suggested that the teacher look more carefully at key reoccurring nouns, adjectives, adverbs in the documents to get a better sense of priorities as teacher designers. Here he said that unpacking content standards in this manner had two virtues, and the first was pragmatic in that he could manage large amounts of content especially discrete factual knowledge of basic skills by clustering the specific center to broader conceptual umbrellas containing the big ideas and core task. He then gives a figure which is 3.2 as to unpacking standards as a model, then going back to conceptual umbrellas. He listed time restrictions and content overload as being too specific. He discussed the big ideas as being inherently transferable and helping to do it which connects discrete topics and skills with the essential questions.
The writer then asks what are the big ideas and core task and he states that to be elegant and powerful the design has to be coherent, focused, clear and worthy of intellectual priorities on what we call the big ideas or core task. He stated that every topic usually encompasses more content that we can reasonably address and that we have to make choices and explicit priorities as to what to teach and not teach. Our position was to see the priorities in what we are asking them to learn and to assist learners being able to identify these through our questions, thus establishing learning priorities. Wiggins thought that a big idea could be thought as a linchpin and that would be the device that keeps the wheel in place on the axle. He reminded us of the differences between letter of the law and spirit of the law where the learner has to understand the rules but more important to be able to apply them.
In considering big ideas at the core, versus the basics, usually the big ideas covered things that would become the basis for further work they were gained from inquiry, and they were ways of thinking and perceiving that are the province of the expert. He said that most expert big ideas are abstract and counterintuitive to the novice and prone to misunderstanding. He gave examples of various fields contrasted by basic terms and core ideas. He thought that we had to dig deeper to the core foundation for other thoughts and that inquiry led to thinking and perceiving which was expert wisdom or finding the kernel of truth to base logic to being intuitive. He also thought that the big idea was central and coherent to making connections between fields of study or as a conceptual anchor for other facts and things that we could understand and find useful such as grasping the structure of the subjects would be to understand it in a way that permits many things to be related to it meaningfully to learn the structure sure is to learn how things are related.
Wiggins stated that Philip Phoenix in 1964 wrote about representative ideas because they enabled learning that is both effective and efficient. Here we kind of considered bundling as far as to looking for some common denominator that could be collected together or like psychology they states chunking. Basically the letter would be looking for characteristic concepts of his discipline that would represent it and holding onto that piece of knowledge would be holding onto an entire discipline of subject matter underneath it, and that if it was organized according to patterns of full comprehension that the learner could find other intelligible elements that fit into the design sort of how we talk about double of vision.
Lynn Eriksen (2001, as cited in Wiggins) stated the useful working definition of big ideas as being brought in abstract as represented by one or two words, universal in application, timeless – carry through the ages, represented by different examples that share common attributes such as big ideas could be thought of as providing a focusing conceptual lens for any study, providing breath of meaning by connecting in organizing many facts, skills, and experience serving as the linchpin of understanding, pointing to ideas at the heart of expert understanding of the subject, requiring coverage because it's meaning of value is rarely obvious to the learner, is counterintuitive or prone to misunderstanding, and 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 school. Bloom and others suggest the nature and value of the big ideas and deal with providing ideas for new problems. By covering the big ideas learners would be able to make sense out of everything that came before him, and then develop his ability to make new and unfamiliar ideas see more familiar and that it was more of a conceptual tool which would sharpen his thinking and connect to different pieces of his knowledge toward usability.
The author then gives another model figure 3.3 on page 71 which is clarifying content priorities and here he suggested that there were three concentric circles and the first smaller one in the middle was for big ideas or the core task, which was the finer grained decision anchoring the heart of the course, or specific subject which is the key task transferred by key performance challenges. The second middle circle was things that were important to do no and do this included share sharpening or prioritizing our choices by specifying important knowledge skills and concepts that have connectivity or transferable power. It also identifies the prerequisite which enables knowledge and skill for key performances of understanding, or transfer task, and requires understanding measures. It stimulates students’ interests and impacts what they want to understand and frames goals as performance task. The next section, the third Circle, the largest one, is worth being familiar with, and this included what we want to do and basically what the learner has to, read, view, research, or otherwise encounter through application. On the outer circle we talk about field of all possible content example topics, skills, resources and then from those fields of all the possible contents we want to examine as a particular unit of the course and this would be going to smaller toward the third circle. Here we considered, with the multiples, that the inner circle was trying to figure out what the differences between one mind or many minds as to perspective would have on individuals, to the second circle would be similarities and differences, and the third Circle would be meeting multiples as one of the task of what the learner could be doing.
On page 74, the author list tips for finding the big ideas and one of those tips included listing on point 3 an existing list of transferable concepts for example when searching for big ideas given for a given topic and he asked we consider the following such as abundance/scarcity, acceptance/rejection, aging/maturity, change/continuity, and character/communities to name a few. He also listed under the point 5 about generating big ideas as an outgrowth of related suggested pairs so words would go together and need to be thought of such as absorb and reflect, actions and reactions, harmony and dissonance, important and urgent, continuity and change, and structure and function.
The author then gave us an example of using the words that were important like freedom – and, I'm going to list this paragraph or write this paragraph down because it's important as to conceptual thinking. He asked us to consider freedom and it being used across many subjects. A relevant set of essential questions for design might include these to what extent are we free? To what extent is biology or culture destiny? Is free will a romantic and naïve believe of the bedrock of modern things and action? In what sense was Revolutionary war, the Holocaust, or recent religious warfare fated to happen – or to what extent is such an argument defeatist? What sense were atomic warfare and global warming the results of scientific advance? Is there freedom in mathematics, or are all the results faded though perhaps unknown to us at the present?
We skipped over this next part which is more like explaining some of the of the things really using the words why and what and we made a little note about bringing ABBIE into this part to compare basically naïve thinking which would lead to more sophisticated thinking through provocative questions, performance challenges, testing ideas, or confirming/refining through content as means of inquiry, and these were things that lifelong learners would do this get the rest that page.
This next section is on framing goals and transfer tasks. Here they talked about going into the fields most important performance demands. I would associate this then with how well psychology papers lead from one to another and people utilize old thoughts to build and create using inferences toward new thoughts. They also consider the term challenges in this field. Wiggins used core task with authentic challenges which embody our educational aims: the goal is school is fluent and effective performance in the world, not mere verbal and physical response to narrow prompts. Transfer, reflective of understanding, involves expertly addressing authentic challenges at the core tasks where content are a means. I triple starred that part. We also left notes on making things as realistic as possible and to really mimic what is actually going on in the world. The author listed challenges as things that were messy, might contain many errors, and have outliers, and being fluent and effective within our performance in the world. I listed as huge - the transfer, or transferring understanding, and here I jump to the authentic challenges and core task where context was a means, and we skipped that part to include multiplicity which is kind of where we are with the world.
The author talked about having transfer demands/degree cue, and he starts off with the fourth cue. He considers this far transfer and here we understand both the content and the situation but we cannot ask or provide everything required. We can identify with additional problems as things that we have to work through and here the test seems undoable. This is sort of like where we are at with the last class at JIU, or even here with this course. Not all the students succeed and some give up even though they might've had control over the subject matter previously. The third degree of cues is near transfer and this is what we realize when learning applies in the somewhat ambiguous or different scenario and that that, to understand the main challenge of the learner is to figure out what kinds of problem it is, and then having realized what test demands that the learner should be following or procedures through the next degree of cue the second minimal transfers required. Here the tasks are presented with reference to ideas topics are task previously studied, but no reference is made to the specific rule or formula that applies success requires the student only to recognize and recall what rule applies based on a familiar problem. And then, the fourth cue is that the task is presented to the student and he need only follow directions and use recall logic to complete it. No transfers are required. Basically he already knows everything he needs to know to solve the problem, so he only uses or plugs in to a technique or content related to just completing the learning examples.
Okay at this point were up to chapter 4 of the six facets of understanding. We have to pause here. We are to the point we are eating popcorn. It is now 12:30 PM. We have got two hours before we have to get ready for Dr. Marvin's at least getting in the shower.
This chapter starts off with us being able to really define the difference between understanding and knowledge and the problems that our language presents. It states that understanding has several various meanings but suggests that understanding is not one achievement but several, and is revealed through different kinds of evidence (thinking here – transference). It was considered synonymous to the noun form of the word which would be inside of wisdom and that they were both clearly different from, yet somehow related to knowledge. Wiggins defined the differences between real understanding and academic understanding saying that sometimes we can know too much and it might impede real understanding due to having too much gibberish in the brain. The author thought understanding the analysis of something was that you could teach, use, proof, connect, explain, defend, and read between the lines, and so on in that - performance assessment was a necessity. A very important description stated that students must perform effectively with knowledge to convince us that they really understand.
This next part is the part where he talked about seeing things from interesting perspectives and implying that complex ideas generate invariably and legitimately from diverse points of view and at this point we thought about the multiples and how they really contribute to interesting new perspectives. And where at such point in history that that what multiples think and even if there are real is just beyond most people's comprehension although they might share some valuable aspects to of how the world goes round such as through trauma or anxiety.
Wiggins goes on to explain that coming to understand or reaching an understanding is in the context of social relationships and that the term understanding might have other meanings as well as far as interpersonal and intellectual. He described the Oxford dictionary as stating that understanding means to apprehend the meaning or import an idea, and discussed also it was having the capacity to understand. Here he discussed empathetic understanding that would be evident across cultural conflicts. Wiggins discussed the agreement born between mutual respect, wise perspective, and intellectual insight. Here he was still talking about problems in the Middle East. He also discussed that sometimes in understanding it meant one might be detached from the people’s ideas being discussed, and somehow that might give us a little bit more objectivity and allow us to share new insights. From here the author goes into the six sided view of the concept.
Damn that popcorn's good.
One) can explain – via generalizations, principles, justified in systematic accounts of phenomena, facts and data; making insightful connections, and providing illuminating examples - illustrations.
Two) can interpret – tell meaningful stories; offer apt translations; provide a revealing historical personal dimension to ideas and events; make the object of understanding personal or accessible through images, antidotes, analogies, and models.
Three) can apply – effectively use and adapt what we know in diverse and real context – we can do the subject.
Four) have perspective – see and hear points of view through critical eyes and ears; see the big picture.
Five) can empathize – find value in what others might find odd, alien, or impossible; perceived sensitivity on the basis of prior direct experience.
Six) have self-knowledge – show metacognitive awareness; perceive the personal style, prejudice, projections, and habits of mind that both shape and impede our understanding; awareness of what we do not understand; and reflect the meaning of learning and experience.
The author states that these six facets are manifestations of transferability meaning we use these different but related facets for judging understanding in the same way that we would use varied criteria for judging a single complex performance. The writer gives here an example of how one might apply the facets to writing a good essay and noted that the facets reflect different connotations of understanding. He stated that from an assessment perspective the six facets offer various indicators and because of this, we can guide the selection and design of assessments to elicit understanding from broader educational perspectives and that the facets suggest the goal: in teaching for transfer and completing a mature understanding ideally involves the full development of all six facets of understanding.
The author now talks about each of the facets more individually.
Facet one: explanation - this is sophisticated theories or illustrations which provide knowledge, and of events, actions, and ideas. To this, we can ask questions like why is that so. What explains such events? What accounts for such action? How can we prove it? To what is this connected? What is an illustrative example? How does this work? What is implied? This part is important because it goes back to describing the differences between knowledge and understanding but the author states that to understand is not mere knowledge of facts, but in furtherance about why and how with specific evidence and logic – insightful connections and illustrations. Understanding something in relation to other things: to note how it operates or functions, what consequences follow from it, what causes it. Wiggins explains that supporting our opinions such as through a test, that it would not be evidence of understanding and that more so, we need to explain why our answers correct, why the facts exist, and why the formula works; and we need to supply support for our opinions, so when we’re assessing we should look for good explanations from our learners and call on them to reveal their understanding by using words such as support, justify, generalize, predict, verify, proof, and substantiate. This is all about showing our work. The author states that these kind capacities are labeled analysis and synthesis in Bloom's taxonomy and that students will have in-depth understanding and have greater control over the data and robust connections than those with limited understanding. He also states that from a design point of view, facet one calls for building units around questions such as those found in problem-based learning and effective hands-on and minds-on science programs and that the implications for assessments are straight-on. He suggests using assessments such as performance tests, projects, prompts, and tests. Basically, the learners provide the explanation on their own and it's not just a matter of simple recall.
Facet two: interpretation - interpretations, narratives, and translations that provide meaning questions asked would be what does it mean? Why does it matter? What of it? What does it illustrate or eliminate in human experience? How does it relate to me? What makes sense? The idea here is not only to interpret but to provide a plausible account, so understanding would be shedding interesting and significant light on current or past experiences. The author explains that we value good storytellers with reason. A good story both enlightens and engages; it helps us to remember and connect. Clear and compelling narrative can help us find meaning in what may have previously seemed the abstract and is relevant. Here the author talks about parables revealing effective teaching devices that capture our attention and engages our intellect, so we start pondering or deciphering it. Stories help us to make sense of our lives and lives around us and seemed to be the anchor for all religions. In transforming understanding we mean the meaning of patterns we ascribe to all events, data, or experiences. Here Wiggins gives example of Martin Luther King. Meaning is still in the eyes of the beholder, but we do find the meaning of the events through understanding. It means making sense as a translation or interpretation in the broadest sense. It really ties into the significance of results more than logical theory behind it. Developing interpretations requires that the students’ ideas receive feedback necessary to force continual testing and revision of those accounts and that learners have to be asked to interpret inherently ambiguous matters not just for the right answer but for the thinking processes.
Facet three: ability to use knowledge effectively - a new situation in diverse, realistic context. Questions asked here are how and where can we use this knowledge, skill, or process? How should my thinking in action be modified to meet the demands of this particular situation? This is the usage of knowledge which matches ideas, knowledge, and actions to context the doing part we still have to negotiate different constraints, context, purposes, and audiences by doing so we reveal our understanding as performance know-how, with grace under pressure, and with tact. This is a context dependent skill required of new problems in diverse situations, and in assessment students must have a great deal of latitude to defy the primary task of their goal related to their own ideas or experiences. And, that as soon as they can take up the opportunity to synthesize on their own, the sooner they will feel that the world school has something to contribute to them and to the life they will live his wider society. Real-world problems (Gardner, 1991) argues that it involves the appropriate application of concepts and principles to questions or problems that are newly posed and so for these purposes new and unfamiliar problems, followed by open and clinical interviews or careful observations which provide the best way of establishing the degree of understanding attained. Basically, this includes a real comprehension of the notion or theory which implies the reinvention of this theory by the student and one seems capable of repeating certain notions and understanding giving the impression of understanding; however; this does not fulfill the condition of reinvention. True understanding manifests itself in new spontaneous applications. It really focuses on and culminates in more authentic tasks. The performance goals need to be clear and the goal has to be in constant view, and constantly require students to self-assess their performance and production against standards.
Facet four: perspective – critical and insightful points of view questions that come from this are from whose point of view, or from which vantage point? What is assumed or tacit that needs to be made explicit and considered? What is justified or warranted? Is there adequate evidence? Is it responsible? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the idea? Is it possible? What are its limits? So what? On this one we need to understand coming from a dispassionate and disinterested perspective - that it is about having your own particular viewpoint that answers complex questions toward what has been granted, assumed, overlooked, or glossed over in inquiry or theory. This type of perspective is a powerful form of insight because of shifting perspective and casting familiar ideas in a new light, one can create new theories, stories, and applications. The application of this is that students are exposed to different perspectives and can question and assumptions, conclusions, and implications and gain new perspective from their normal knee-jerk or subjective opinions it involves the discipline of asking how does this look for from another's point of view with greater control over essential questions and ideas. The student can see both intrinsic and extrinsic value and intellectual life this should give the learner the opportunity to confront alternative theories in diverse points of view regarding the big ideas through the result of design in the course work and materials which show the differing perspectives.
Facet five: empathy – the ability to get inside another person's feelings and worldview questions asked here are how does it seem to you? What do they see that I don't? What do I need to ask if I'm going to understand? What was the writer, artist, or performer feeling, thinking, seeing and trying to make me feel and see? Here they talk about empathy as being able to walk in someone else's shoes and to escape one's own response and reaction so he can grasp another's. We don't want sympathy but the discipline attempt to feel as others feel to see as others see. We need to get into the person's worldview and into embrace the insights that come with engagement. It is cool, analytic detachment even if the ideas or actions are puzzling or off-putting. Empathy can lead us not only to rethink the situation but also to have a change of heart as we continue to understand what formally seemed odd or alien. We go beyond odd and alien and sometimes weird opinions of people assist us in finding what is really meaningful in them. Here there is a change of heart and we have the interpersonal sense not only intellectual change of mind by the significant change of heart that requires us to give respect for people that are different from ourselves and causes us to be more open-minded. The author states that the study of history as a primary aim is to help us develop historical empathy for people living in different places and times. We find more experience of learning which implies experiential as a prerequisite though some people find this troublesome because of you cannot possibly understand without having been there at the implication that is to ensure greater understanding from experience that is direct or simulated rather than textbook courses.
Facet six: self-knowledge – the wisdom to know one's ignorance and how one's patterns of thought and action inform as well as prejudice understanding. The questions here are how does who I am shaped my views? What are the limits of my understanding? What are my blind spots? What are deficits that leave me prone to misunderstanding because of prejudice, habit, or style? This deep understanding is ultimately related to what we mean by wisdom and that to do this we first have to understand ourselves and through self-knowledge we can understand. This means in our daily life we have the capacity to accurately to complete a self-assessment and self- regulate, or through metacognition which refers to self-knowledge about thinking and why the relation between a preferred method of learning and understanding, or lack of it in the immature mind. Beginner's mind is thus not merely ignorant or unskilled but unreflective. A naïve student lacks self-knowledge to know ideas out there without projection; to know when an idea seems objectively true but only fits the students beliefs; or to know how templates or frames for perception shape how and what the students understand Intellectual rationalization. The author discussed intellectual blind spots as predisposing us toward intellectually rationalizing and to unendingly assimilate experienced beliefs. Basically, we need to think what in our mind is true or not true. Thinking in either/or terms is a common example of such a natural habit which do we consider the curse of immature thought. Maturity is evident when we look around to wonder. The author states the fundamental fact is that we lay down rules that we had had and when we follow the rules, things did not turn out as we assume, and we become entangled in our own rules. This entanglement in our rules is what we want to understand. Here we have to look at our self-conscious exposure of prejudice as our key insight. What self-knowledge demands is a key facet of understanding because it assists us to subconsciously question our way of seeing the world if we are to become more understanding and better able to see beyond ourselves – Carlos Castaneda. Seek discipline in finding our blind spots and oversights of thinking and have the courage to face uncertainty and inconsistencies underneath effective habits, naïve confidence, strong beliefs, and worldviews that should not be complete or final. Discipline here involves courage and persistence because rational understanding makes us question and sometimes undo our strong false beliefs. The best writing and performance arts classes stress constant self-reflection. But greater attention is needed to the ongoing self-assessment of intellectual performance as well as better understanding of philosophical abilities that fall under the heading of epistemology.
The six facets should help us to understand the three stages of backward design they can help us clarify the desired understandings, the necessary assessment task, and the learning activities that will most likely advance student understanding. They should remind us that understanding is not facts and those certain learning actions or performance assessments are required to bring about the needed meaning -making by the learner. The facets help us to avoid the expert blind spot when you fall victim to the thinking that says because I understand I will tell you my understanding and render teaching and learning more efficient. This is not true. It is not about being tested or providing recall. We are plugging things in good design that will enable the learner to make sense of what the teacher teaches if understanding is the aim. The job is not to cover but to uncover what lies below the surface of given facts and to ponder the meaning, and this of course, is what constructivism means: meaning cannot be taught; it must be fashioned by the learner via artful design which is effective coaching by the teacher. Curriculum designers develop student understanding that will teach not to learn facts and skills but also to question the meaning it uncovers into the big ideas where knowledge is made more connected meaningful and useful.