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Backward Design

Backward Design

Backward design begins with the end in mind: What enduring understandings do I want my students to develop? How will my students demonstrate their understanding when the unit is completed? How will I ensure that students have the skills and understand the concepts required on the summative assessment? These are the kinds of questions that teachers pose at the earliest stages of the backward design planning process. By beginning with the end in mind, teachers are able to avoid the common pitfall of planning forward from activity to activity, only to find that some students are prepared for the final assessment while others are not. Using backward design, teaching for understanding, and requiring students to apply and demonstrate their learning are not new concepts. Many of the best teachers have been using this approach, even if they didn't have a name for it. The resources on these linked web pages attempt to explain the backward design planning process and show how it can be used to design thematic, multi-genre units that promote enduring understanding.


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