Tuesday, 14 February 2012


As a UbD trainer, one of my roles is to assist in the development of planning of units of work at my school.

One of the things about Understanding by Design that I like is the breakdown of understanding by ways it can be seen. There are many ways to show understanding. Wiggins and McTighe chose six in their 6 Facets of Understanding: Explanation, Interpretation, Perspective, Application, Self-knowledge and Empathy.

Being a risk-taker is one aspect of our JIS Learner Quality, Creative Individual. I was initially surprised at that. But it makes sense that being creative is putting your creation "out there" in public, to get a reaction which you hope will make you feel like your efforts were worthwhile. Taking a risk that this might not be the case. We expect our children to do this often.

This blog is a new venture for me. I am way outside my comfort zone doing this. As I first posted, it doesn't come easily. I don't feel that I am a writer of quality, but I do need to understand how my students feel when they are asked to write and they can't think what to write about, and that's the point. The next step after the writing is the publishing and sharing and that is where I now have some empathy with our writers.

Having written a few posts, I decided I might as well get some feedback, so I have shared the blog with a few colleagues. I didn't expect adulations and didn't get any, and I was happy with that. It seemed honest which is important,  and I got some good feedback which made me feel like I can keep going.

Except from one... which was unexpected and therefore came as a blow and I am sure my colleague didn't mean it to have that effect. My initial thought was to stop and give up. But then hours later, here I am reflecting on that feeling. Do students sometimes feel like this? I can say with certainty, I have acquired some empathy.

I understand.

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