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Defined by Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design is a "framework for designing curriculum units, performance assessments, and instruction that lead your students to deep understanding of the content you teach," UbD expands on "six facets of understanding", which include students being able to explain, interpret, apply, have perspective, empathize, and have self-knowledge about a given topic.Backward design Understanding by Design relies on what Wiggins and McTighe call "backward design" (also known as "backwards planning"). Teachers, according to UbD proponents, traditionally start curriculum planning with activities and textbooks instead of identifying classroom learning goals and planning towards that goal. In backward design, the teacher starts with classroom outcomes and then plans the curriculum, choosing activities and materials that help determine student ability and foster student learning. Teaching for understanding "Teaching for understanding" is another central premise of Understanding by Design. It should be evident in course design, teacher and student attitudes, and the classroom learning environment. There should be coherent curriculum design and clear distinctions between big ideas and essential questions. Teachers should tell students about big ideas and essential questions, performance requirements, and evaluative criteria at the beginning of the unit or course. Students should be able to describe the goals (big ideas and essential questions) and performance requirements of the unit or course. The classroom learning environment should have high expectations and incentives for all students to come to understand the big ideas and answer the essential questions.
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