I first was introduced to backwards design in the military or as the U.S. Army calls it 'backwards planning'. The best feature, in my opinion, is that you are constantly evaluating your plan (lesson) against your desired end state (goals or standards). It really reduces any redundancy in the planning process and allows to focus on what is important. The acronym A.S.S.U.R.E. is a great tool to use.
As a teacher the two biggest questions you must ask are what do your students already know (analyze) and what do you want them to know (objectives or goals)? Once you have identified those it should be fairly easy to draft a general lesson. Sure every student will respond differently, that is why the last four steps are just as important.
Evaluate and revise is the step that I see being the most neglected. The importance of reflecting back and deciding what worked and what didn't is essential in everything that we do. Don't just evaluate the students, evaluate your teaching, your lesson plan, what can you do to adapt your lesson or class to make it better.
Backwards design is very important; it puts the student first. Students are dynamic; our lessons should follow.
Leave a Reply.
Michael S. current educator and former paratrooper
Books in my backpack..