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teaching the curriculum differently

Posted By: Frank Champine on November 20, 2003
 
Sean,

May I recommend approaching the integrated teaming from the perspective of ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS and ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in their seminal work UNDERSTANDING BY DESIGN. (http://www.ascd.org go to book store) From my experience, the approach to teaming through content forces indivdual core subjects into radical shifts in traditional approaches to their disciplines. The victims to teaming always turn out to be the math teacher who needs a verticality to her curriculum and instructational patterns.

However, if you approach the topic through a conceptual base (BIG IDEA) OR ENDURING UNDERSTANDING all the disciplines can play and NOT LOSE TIME "FORCING" THE THEME.

I do recommend you check out that book. It will help you greatly in your design model. In fact the authors coined the concept of THE BACKWARD DESIGN MODEL as they developed their three phase (stage) approach to curricular design.

I use their book in my Secondary Methodology class at the University of Pennsylvania. I teach in the Teacher Certification program in the Graduate School of Education and the final performance assessment is to have students design a UBD unitmuch like your project. Several have expanded it to include interdisciplinary teaching. It is so powerful to build these experiences around ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS AND ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS instead of the core's struggling to find out "how we fit in."

Good luck
Frank Champine
Langhorne, PA
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 teaching the curriculum differently by sean mcglennon on September 10, 2003
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