Teaching for Understanding (TfU): How do we learn to understand and what are the implications of this process for our teaching and student learning?
This workshop will invite participants to explore a series of questions devised by the Project Zero Team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to elicit the nature of learning to understand and its implications for teaching and learning. The process of answering the questions begins to open up assumptions we make about teaching, learning and assessment and, hence, also frames research about teaching and learning. The three questions are asked sequentially as follows:
What do you understand really well?
How did you develop that understanding?
How do you know you understand your chosen topic?
The workshop will then explore the findings of participants regarding these questions and will pose further questions to chart the process of learning to understand. Sample questions in this phase of the workshop include:
In what way does learning in the `real world¿ contrast with college classroom learning? What do your answers to the TfU questions tell you about successful student learning/understanding?
What are the implications of the TfU exercise for your teaching and student learning?
The final phase of the workshop will then consider how participants might begin to take a teaching/learning for understanding approach to a selected text/topic in the light of what has been learnt in exploring the TfU exercise. The concept of a variety of Entry Points to learning, as embedded in a Multiple Intelligences approach to teaching and learning, may be invoked at this point in the workshop to develop and harness learning. (244 words)
The workshop will draw on disciplinary and international perspectives.