Backwards Design

As I work on my Curriculum Design project, I become more interested in Grant Wiggin’s book Understanding by Design. In this book, Wiggins discusses backwards design as an effective teaching strategy. He proposes the idea of thinking with the end in mind. This means that before teachers start planning, they think “What do I want my students to have learned at the end?” On a more broader level, before teachers start teaching, they should think about the goals they plan to achieve throughout the years. I like how we were encouraged to brainstorm a high-stakes project we want our students to create by the end of an instructional unit before we actually planned the unit. Thinking about what we want our students to take away from the unit helps plan what and how we teach it to be most effective.

2 thoughts on “Backwards Design”

  1. Before we even discussed Grant Wiggins backwards design process, I thought it was natural to think about what we as teachers wanted our students to learn and set an end goal in mind. Grant Wiggins reinforced this type of thinking. It really helped me to design my own curriculum design project and how I needed to have the end goal of a what I expected my students to know and have learned.


  2. Thinking with this mindset also helped me a lot with my curriculum design project. When I took Teacher Academy in high school, our teacher emphasized this model to us as well. On a bigger scheme of things, I think if we present this model to our students on the first day of the class then it may make them try harder in class. For example, if we ask our students at the beginning of class where they want to go to college or what they want to do when they graduate, it will get them thinking with the end in mind and they will always have that goal while doing their work in class.


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