Understanding by Design, 2nd Edition

Grant J. Wiggins all

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Understanding by Design, 2nd Edition

By Grant J. Wiggins, Jay McTighe
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Grant J. Wiggins all
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Understanding by Design poses the core, essential questions of understanding and design, and provides readers with practical solutions for the teacher-designer. 

The book opens by analysing the logic of backward design as an alternative to coverage and activity-oriented plans.  Though backward from habit, this approach brings more focus and coherence to instruction.  The text proposes a multifaceted approach, with the six “facets” of understanding.  The facets combine with backward design to provide a powerful, expanded array of practical tools and strategies for designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments that lead students at all grade levels to genuine understanding. 

The authors have successfully put together a text that demonstrates what best practice in the design of learning looks like, enhancing for its audience their capability for creating more engaging and effective learning, whether the student is a third grader, a college freshman, or a faculty member.

  • UbD Template for unit design–Clearer, and more user-friendly, the template now provides a structural foundation for the revised book, representing a form for the final design, with elements aligned.  A practical benefit as a tool in design for understanding, the template cultivates better habits of planning for teacher designers.
  • Sharpened meaning of understanding – Frames the term in more conceptual, practical terms for the reader.  The text now offers more specific guidelines on how to frame desired understandings (i.e. as full-sentence generalisations) and put much greater emphasis on the goal of transfer.
  • Updated and refined Chapter 5 – The argument about what essential questions are and are not has been more clearly defined for readers, whether coming from a humanities, science, or teaching background.
  • Expanded selection of exercises– The text now features a greater sampling across the grade levels and subjects.  Readers will find that their concerns are better reflected in the revised materials, with illustrations drawn from a vast array of schooling experiences, elementary school to the college level. 
  • A great selection for the in-service market— Very practical and applied.


Table of contents
  • List of Figures.
  • Preface.
  • Acknowledgements.
  • Introduction.
  • 1.   Backward Design.
  • 2.   Understanding Understanding.
  • 3.   Gaining Clarity on Our Goals.
  • 4.   The Six Facets of Understanding.
  • 5.   Essential Questions: Doorways to Understanding.
  • 6.   Crafting Understandings.
  • 7.   Thinking like an Assessor.
  • 8.   Criteria and Validity.
  • 9.   Planning for Learning.
  • 10. Teaching for Understanding.
  • 11. The Design Process.
  • 12. The Big Picture: UbD as Curriculum Framework.
  • 13. "Yes, but..."
  • Afterword: Getting Started.
  • Appendix: Sample 6-Page Template.
  • Endnotes.
  • Glossary.
  • Bibliography.
  • Index.
  • About the Authors.