• Backward Design Model/Standard Based Education


    Massachusetts has set standards for each grade level. The elements of Backward Design are as follows:


    * Step 1 - Enduring Understanding/Big Idea - this includes core concepts, theories, and processes that anchor curriculum. This begins a vision of what ALL students should achieve.


    * Step 2 - Essential Questions - these organize and define what students should learn and define the essence of this learning.


    * Step 3 - Standards/What Students Know and are Able to Do - curriculum must be anchored in standards and the students must know what they will be held accountable for.


    * Step 4 - Assessments - assessment is ongoing throughout units and varies so students can be assessed in multiple ways.


    * Step 5 - Activities Leading to Assessment - curriculum and instructional strategies need to be taught in an interesting multi-sensory way so that students can be led to mastery. In addition, learning is spiraled so students/teachers revisit and reconsider ideas and skills.



    The Backward Design Model is a model used to plan out units. It is driven by standards-based education. Standards-based education is characterized by


    1) Instruction and assessment guided by predetermined, validated standards for learning expectations.


    2) Learning activities designed to address specific learning standards - that which is essential/important to know.


    3) Provides common expectations for student learning for all students at a grade level, regardless of school or teacher assignments.


    4) ALL students are challenged to perform at a high level.


    5) Instruction is informed by assessment; students know in advance what they are expected to learn and how they will be assessed.


    6) Achieved by using effective educational practices that engage all learners.


    7) Teachers and students are held accountable for what is learned.