What_teaching_for_understanding_looks_like - What teaching...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
What teaching for understanding looks like. (Teaching for Understanding). Chris Unger. Educational Leadership v51.n5 (Feb 1994): pp8(3). About this publication | How to Cite | Source Citation | Subjects Abstract: Four high school teachers in Sudbury and Braintree, MA, applied the Teaching for Understanding Project's framework to their classes. The teachers found that they were forced to reconsider their topics, goals and methods of assessment when they practiced the four principles of the framework. The framework also helped the teachers assess their methods and their teaching objectives and, thereby, improve them. The understanding gained by the teachers helped them impart better understanding among their students. Full Text : COPYRIGHT 1994 Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development By applying the Teaching for Understanding Project's framework to classroom situations, both teachers and researchers gained new insights. When we asked a student what she could do to understand the topic of a unit, she answered, "Go through the book and try to understand the definitions." When we asked this same student a similar question after she completed our unit on area, she responded: One good way to understand area is by relating it outside your math class . .. think of other ways it is needed in your personal life. ... By doing the problems different ways and changing the shapes around, you'll be able to use the formulas no matter what the shape is. Why the difference in these two responses? Is it a different subject? A different teacher? The difference, we claim, is in the teaching. Attempting to put into practice the four principles of the Teaching for Understanding framework, developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (see "Putting Understanding Up Front," p. 4), we worked with a team of four teachers at two high schools to learn more about what teaching for understanding looks like in the classroom. What Should I Teach? In applying the four principles, we first had to ask: Were the topics of teachers' preexisting units generative? In other words, did the topics contain a rich array of genuinely meaningful connections to students' lives? Were the topics central to an understanding of the discipline?
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
In answering these questions, we expanded, connected, and extended the typical subject matter of units into generative topics. In considering whether the topic "the external anatomy of fish" was a generative one, for example, Steve Roderick, a science teacher at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury, Massachusetts, recognized a different topic that he considered more meaningful to his students: "The delicate balance between the environment and survival, where the most minor alterations could result in drastic consequences--even affecting our own lives." When Phil James, a history teacher at Lincoln-Sudbury, considered whether his initial topic, "The Industrial Revolution," was generative in nature, he began rethinking his curriculum. He recognized his implicit desire for the students to not only become familiar
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course EDSC 173 at San Jose State.

Page1 / 5

What_teaching_for_understanding_looks_like - What teaching...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online