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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I like what Grant Wiggins says here. Really

Cover of "Understanding by Design: Profes...
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Grant Wiggins seems to be going a little bit against what I perceived as his "teach the curriculum with fidelity" mantra of years gone by with this post. And while I push and pause about UbD, I am glad he wrote this.
I wish I could have this conversation with folks. I worry we may be looking at the proverbial "low hanging fruit" as an easy grab and as a result ignoring the awesome that is your local school teacher.
"So, suppose knowledge is not the goal of education. Rather, suppose today’s content knowledge is an offshoot of successful ongoing learning in a changing world – in which ‘learning’ means ‘learning to perform in the world.’"

I've always loved the idea of teacher as curriculum writer, which is what UbD can trigger and support. But it seems like we may be getting much farther than that, maybe that's where Grant is reflecting from.
"For example, boredom is rampant in schools; perhaps it is the inevitable result of focusing on knowledge instead of performance (which is inherently more engaging). Forgetfulness is constant: students rarely recall what was taught a few weeks ago. How can content move from short-term to long-term memory if there is always more content to memorize tomorrow? And test results reveal over and over that few students can transfer learning to new challenges and overcome basic misconceptions. What do these unending “discrepant phenomena” tell us–if we would only attend to them?" 
If you read this, share your thoughts with me. I agree with some of what he says which scares me a little. :)
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