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Understanding Backward Design


Submitted By sleepydrake
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Curriculum Development Using Understanding by Backward Design

Some of the challenges of developing meaningful curriculum is that the content has to promote student understanding, retention, and generalization. (Amy Childre, 2009) There is no argument that curriculum development is not a single process, where one type of development fits all. A curriculum designers and educators can look at the works of Ralph W. Tyler, Decker Walker, and Elliott W. Eisner and many others to establish a way of developing curriculum. It is understood that one type of curriculum development or template is not the best approach. It takes the ideas of many theories to create the best possible curriculum. Tyler’s Rationale is still considered the primary template of curriculum development. (Marsh, 2003) However instructional designers and teachers know the tides of curriculum are in a continuous state of change, especially now. So is Tyler’s Rationale and other theorizers’ designs the best to use when developing and teaching curriculum? Is the current means of curriculum furthering student learning, retention, and generalization? Today’s curriculum developers and teachers need to look past traditional means, they need to look beyond textbooks and other curriculum influences when creating meaningful curriculum. Understanding by Design (UbD) looks at a new way of establishing curriculum starting with outcomes first. It looks to achieve the same goals as traditional processes but utilizes a reverse approach when creating curriculum. This is definitely different than what is currently used when developing curriculum. UbD curriculum design helps to keep not only curriculum but also teaching more focused on the outcomes which ultimately results in an increase in student understanding and retention.
The focus of creating curriculum is developing a student’s ability to understand and retain

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