...But to pull back and look at the big picture is a bit troubling. There are so many moving parts in learning: assessment design, academic standards, underpinning learning targets for each standard, big ideas, essential questions, instructional strategies — and on and on and on in an endless, dizzying dance.
Why so much “stuff” for what should be a relatively simple relationship between learner and content?
Because it’s so difficult to agree on what understanding is — what it looks like, what learners should be able to say or do to prove that they in fact understand. Wiggins and McTighe go on in the UbD series to ask, “Mindful of our tendency to use the words understand and know interchangeably, what worthy conceptual distinctions should we safeguard in talking about the difference between knowledge and understanding?”2
Via John R. Walkup