What is understanding?
“The performance view of understanding is consonant with both common sense and a number of sources in contemporary cognitive science. The performance perspective says, in brief, that understanding is a matter of being able to do a variety of thought-provoking things with a topic, such as explaining, finding evidence and examples, generalizing, applying, analogizing, and representing the topic in new ways.”
From The Teaching for Understanding Guide by Tina Blythe and Associates (Jossey-Bass, 1999)
The Teaching for Understanding framework
- Throughlines, or Overarching Understanding Goals (extend through the entire course—focus learners on BIG understandings)
- Generative Topic (the content we focus on in our unit; what it is about the topic that motivates us to learn more)
- Understanding Goals (extend through a unit; connect to Throughlines and stem from the Generative Topic)
- Performances of Understanding (learners demonstrate their understanding of the topic at various points in a unit)
- Ongoing Assessment (learners assess themselves and one another, and receive frequent formative feedback from the teacher)
Teaching for Understanding: An introduction to the framework (mini course powerpoint)
Teaching for Understanding Project Organizer
Reese, James. “Teaching for Understanding 1: An Introduction to the Framework” Project Zero Summer Institute 2013. Harvard Graduate School of Education. . 22 July. 2013. Lecture.