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Understanding by Design....In a Perfect World....


From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Feb 16 2005 - 13:22:50 PST

Greetings Art Educators,

I have been "talking" with an educator pre-service
teachers... She uses the same text.

"'Understanding by Design' - Wiggins and McTighe are
the source reference for the process.

"After using the process for a while, it becomes quite
natural and teachers wonder why they never used it
before. The process is one of alignment,
thinking about long-term learning (enduring ideas),
and essential questions that make a lesson meaningful.
My pre-service teachers write stronger
lessons with real learning objectives (instead of
activities) when they use this method.

"Jerome Bruner said 'that for any lesson taught, we
might ask is it worth an adult's knowing, and whether
having known it as a child makes the person a
better adult.' In a nutshell, this is what
Understanding by Design is about."

Back to Judy:

One of my BIG ideas was "We learn about a culture's
beliefs and values through their art" (Art about
Religion)....Yes...the kiddies will be better adults
for knowing that information...In a perfect world, ALL
art teachers could teach with that goal in mind and we
would be all that much closer to our goal of "world
peace through art".

I had big ideas - essential questions - with all of my
units and I drilled on those everyday (well maybe not
every day...). I rarely took the time to write down
the big ideas I was teaching - but I do know that the
students remembered those. They may not have all
remembered their p's and e's the way they should...but
how many adults you know - know their art p's and e's?

I am hoping to get some new lessons for IAD with the
"Understanding by Design" philosophy. Here is a file
submitted by Patty Knott - maybe it will help some of
you develop meaningful lessons:


Judy Decker

Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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