Critical Thinking Essay

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The Importance of Backwards Planning in Curriculum Design Kaplan University Author Stephen Covey states, “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” When examining the approach of backwards planning in curriculum design, it becomes apparent that the order of planning is key. Backwards planning can be defined as starting with lesson goals then moving to activities that will allow students to accomplish those goals. In order for backwards planning to be successful, we as educators must understand what exactly we want our students to leave knowing. The articles and text reviewed show that implementing the backwards lesson design in unit planning will allow all students to have a deeper connection and understanding to the material learned. Authors of Understanding by Design Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe present the method of backwards planning. Their approach to achieving student understanding involves three stages. The first stage is to identify desired results. The authors state in this stage, teachers are to ask the question," What should students know, understand, and be able to do?." (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p.17.) In this stage educators are to start with the end results of achievement. The next stage presented is to determine acceptable evidence. In this stage, teachers are asked to think of how you will know if students have met your desired goals. The authors argue, " This approach encourages teachers and curriculum planners to first "think like an assessor" before designing specific units and lessons, and thus to consider up front how they will determine if students have attained the desired understandings." (Wiggins

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