Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Designing Understanding

Have been pondering in the last wee while about how ones knowing about something moves to understanding that something.  Am sure it's not as simple as having it knocked into ones self by  being dragged head first down the stairs like poor old Pooh!  How can learning and teaching be designed to intentionally deepen and support the construction of understanding?  It was incredibly refreshing to listen to Lane Clark last week as she talked about the layers of 'knowledge and comprehension' that are required for students to ask good questions, be able to analyse or pull apart wholes or see wholes as bits and ultimately 'synthesize' (Her definition of apply new ideas) and to achieve far transfer ('what is needed to solve future problems and make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others'). 
Simply in the powerful learning model we have developed 'The Hub' at the core of the Powerful Learning process has 4 key words - reflect, dialogue, question and imagine.  I believe these are key in slowing the learning process down to talk about, reflect on or question for example the matrix that has been completed on ......  
Through taking the time to use the hub students are given opportunities to make sense or meaning of their experiences, prior knowledge and the facts and ideas they are being presented with.  Is this surely not ensuring enduring understandings are acquired?  Is there much more to it than that?
Lots more wondering to happen in this area - your thoughts?

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