Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chapter Title and Quotes of the Week

In my endeavor to design a course of study for my test-takers, I cracked open my heretofore pristine copy of "Understanding By Design" by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. It is a compelling -- if a bit intimidating -- text designed to inform the way teachers design curricula and other learning activities.

Chapter 2 is titled, rather awesomely, "Understanding Understanding." And if that isn't enough to draw you in, the authors feature these two quotations as hooks:

"The most characteristic thing about mental life, over and beyond the fact that one apprehends the events of the world around one, is that one constantly goes beyond the information given." Jerome Bruner, Beyond the Information Given, 1957, p. 218

"Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding." Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1881-1906

The first quote will be useful in my current project, as inferential reasoning is one of skills this test purports to assess. Perhaps I will have them use the context clues (another name for inferential reasoning) to figure out the meaning of apprehend.

The second quote, like all of the definitions in The Devil's Dictionary, delights me to no end.


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