I have not heard of the Backward Design until now, it sounded quite strange to have a backward design in teaching but after reading the article, What is Backward Design? From the ASCD book Understanding by Design, by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, I found this theory very interesting and quite true, this is how I teach, even in an early years setting.”How, then, do these design considerations apply to curriculum planning? We use curriculum as a means to an end. We focus on a particular topic (e.g., racial prejudice), use a particular resource (e.g., To Kill a Mockingbird), and choose specific instructional methods (e.g., Socratic seminar to discuss the book and cooperative groups to analyze stereotypical images in films and on television) to cause learning to meet a given standard (e.g., the student will understand the nature of prejudice, and the difference between generalizations and stereotypes). Why do we describe the most effective curricular designs as “backward”? We do so because many teachers begin with textbooks, favored lessons, and time-honored activities rather than deriving those tools from targeted goals or standards. We are advocating the reverse: One starts with the end – the desired results (goals or standards) –and then derives the curriculum from the evidence of learning (performances) called for by the standard and the teaching needed to equip students to perform”.http://www.flec.ednet.ns.ca/staff/What%20is%20Backward%20Design%20etc.pdf
I feel that having an end goal and working backwards with this goal will help me implement more effective lesson planning. Instead of thinking of how to get to an end, begin with the end and work backwards. I like the theory!
Theories of Mind: As stated in Educational Psychology, Constructing Learning by McInerney and McInerney (1998), “As noted in our earlier discussion of constructivism (chapter 1), children learn through making sense of their world of experiences”,(p.37). “For Vygotsky, therefore, cognitive development is not so much the unfolding of mental schemas within the individual so much as the unfolding of cognitive understandings of social beings within social contexts. In a sense we become part of the community and community becomes part of us in the sharing of knowledge”, (McInerney, p.38).
I certainly believe that our community and our cultural beliefs are an important tool for children’s learning, everyone learns differently for many reasons and each difference should be embraced by a teacher to be an effective educator.