Explore BrainMass

Supporting Student Understanding: Instruction and Assessment

1. What is a matter of understanding? What knowledge is worth understanding (priorities)?

2. What is Understanding and apparent understanding? What does our language reveal about understanding? What is student misunderstanding and what does it tell us?

3. What does each facet of the Six Facets of Understanding implies when we
truly understand?

4. Assessments for understanding at various levels: How to design assessments that support understanding: a. Rubrics, b. Standards of Assessment, and c. Knowledge (performance) versus insight

Solution Preview

1. Prioritizing knowledge using McTighe's pyramid graphic assists teachers in focusing their instruction of students. At the bottom of the pyramid, and therefore of lesser significance, are facts and skills. While they do contribute to a student's understanding of an essential concept, they do not represent the heart of knowledge. The next level in the pyramid are key concepts and core processes. These represent a more complex level of understanding; the student is moving towards deeper, more transferable knowledge when they internalize the key concepts and processes related to an essential understanding. The most significant part of the pyramid, the tip of the pyramid, contains the principles and generalizations a student acquires when they reach this highest level of understanding. While it does not represent the quantity of information the other two portions of the pyramid contain, it is the deepest level of knowledge we can bring our students to. With these core principles and generalizations students have mastered the essential knowledge and are able to connect this knowledge across disciplines, synthesize new ideas, and evaluate thoughts and ideas in this area of knowledge. For example, take the concept or theme of power. At the base level of the pyramid, we would want students to learn facts related to power, such as the power structure of specific government entities. The exact executive functions of the President of our country would be facts for students to learn. The next level of the pyramid would have us teaching our students how the President's powers ...

Solution Summary

Analyzes how teachers can guide students to understanding of key concepts and ideas using Wiggins and McTighe's Six Facets of Understanding. Provides specific strategies to use in the classroom.