Sunday, January 8, 2012

Six Facets of Understanding

Stage one of our work on unit design this year has focused on KUDs.  Stages two focuses on assessment for understanding, and stage three focuses on the learning plan.  I am meeting with department chairs individually to support each department with its next steps.  In the meantime, I offer the following six facets of understanding for your consideration:
Six Facets of Understanding
Individuals who understand and can transfer their learning
  • Can explain: make connections, draw inferences, express views in their own words with support, use apt analogies, teach others.
  • Can interpret: make sense of, provide revealing historical or personal dimensions to ideas, data, or events, make learning personal and accessible through images, anecdotes, and stories, turn data into information, and provide a compelling and coherent theory
  • Can apply and adjust: use what they have learned in varie dand unique situations, go beyond the context in which they learned to new units, courses, and situations.
  • Have perspective: see the big picture, are aware of and consider various points of view; take a critical or disinterested stance; recognize and avoid bias in how positions are stated.
  • Show empathy: perceive sensitively, can walk in another's shoes, find potential value in what others might find odd, new, or implausible
  • Have self-knowledge: show metacognitive awareness, reflect on meaning of new learning and experiences, reconigze prejudices, projections, and habits of mind that shape and impede their own understanding, are aware of what they do and do not understand.
These facets are helpful indicators of how understanding is revealed in action--in performances, products, words, or behaviors.  They provide practical frames for what kind of assessments we might construct to determine the extent and depth of student understanding.
(Wiggins & McTighe, 2011, pp. 93-94)

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