Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What is Enduring Understanding?

One of the main aspect that I should consider as a teacher is how to make the learning plan (LP). But one of the parts of making that Learning Plan is to provide the Enduring Understanding (EU). What then is Enduring Understanding?

An Enduring Understanding is made up of the concepts, principles and theories that weave many facts into revealing and useful patterns. It involves the organizing priority ideas that enable us to make sense of past lessons, conduct current inquiry and create new knowledge. It is that such understanding endures in that they enable us to make vital and informative connections in one’s learning – as students and as adults. Furthermore, an understanding is an inference, not a fact. It is an insight derived from inquiry. Key understandings in intellectual fields often violate common sense and conventional wisdom. They are thus often prone to misunderstanding by students. Thus, these understandings therefore, can’t be covered; they must be covered. Moreover, though skill-based teaching in mathematics, foreign language, and physical education does not seem to deal with “understandings” in most units, all skills derive their value from the strategic principles that help us know when and how to use the skill. The understandings also justify the use of a skill and enable the student to extend the use of skill to new situations. It is a generalization derived from inquiry. It is the specific insight that should be inferred from study of the topic - what one wants the student leaving the study to realize. Furthermore, enduring understanding of a unit might be that there is no single agreed-upon understanding, or that people disagree about how the issues, facts, text should be understood.

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