Sunday, October 24, 2010

So how's it going?

♪ ♫ You be doobie dooo...

We've plunged into Understanding by Design (UbD), yet another teaching program that takes good teaching, frames it with invented vocabulary and expensive consultants, led by a messianic figure or two.

This particular messianic figure, Grant Wiggins, has wed with Pearson to carve himself a nice little cubby hole in the habitat of edutestation. New Jersey has invested more than a few dollars in his program. We'll be doing the ♪ ♫ You be doobie dooo...♫ for years.

But here's the good news.

It's not bad once you squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube. Good teachers have always worked backwards from essential questions. Heck, Socrates thrived with Wiggins' program, and look where it got him.

So long as the thrust is on essential questions, on understanding, on grappling with how the world works, and as long as UbD looms larger in the administration world than the NJ Biology Competency Test, it's a win-win situation.

For the cost of squeezing lesson plans into a format that makes solving the Seven Bridges of Königsberg look easy, I get to teach the way the good ones have all along.

Madeline Hunter, Socrates, or even Mr. Hand--it all comes down to the same thing. Save the evangelism for Sundays....

The photo of Grant Wiggins is from his UbD site.
The photo of Mr. Hand is from Flixster.

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