This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Bill Cerbin UW-La Crosse
Background Paper Prepared for the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows Summer Institute July 24-August 3, 2000 This paper is a selective summary of some basic ideas about learning with understanding and teaching for understanding. It is intended for Teaching Fellows who do not have extensive background in this area.
Author’s address Bill Cerbin, Professor of Psychology and Assistant to the Provost 145 Main Hall, UW-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 54601 Phone: 608-785-6881 Fax: 608-785-8046 email: email@example.com
In even the most mature person, understanding is a mixture of insight and misconception, knowledge and ignorance, skill and awkwardness. (Grant Wiggins in Understanding by Design) A fundamental goal of teaching is to advance students’ understanding. As our courses unfold we expect students to do more than simply accumulate information; we want them to develop ideas and achieve a grasp of the subject matter. We realize that students will not become experts in a mere 15 weeks, but we do expect them to deepen their understanding of important concepts and principles. It seems perfectly reasonable to assume that if students work hard they should leave our classes better able to use the knowledge of our fields in other classes and other situations. About 10 years ago I began to recognize that students in my classes were not, in fact, achieving the kind of understanding I had hoped. They could demonstrate a certain kind of learning—mainly they could repeat back ideas they had studied. But, if asked to use those ideas in new contexts, they typically failed. Sometimes they ignored disciplinary ideas altogether and used their “own knowledge” to solve problems. But, it became clear that the disciplinary ideas were on loan and not a permanent part of their knowledge. During the last 10 years I have been trying to do something about the problem of student understanding—by investigating what, how and why students learn or do not learn with understanding from my teaching. I believe, as Diana Laurillard contends that Teachers need to know more than their subject. They need to know the ways it can be understood, what ways it came to be understood, what counts as understanding: they need to know how individuals experience the subject. But they are neither required nor enabled to know these things. (Laurillard, Rethinking University Teaching) This paper is a selective summary highlighting basic concepts about learning with understanding and teaching for understanding. These ideas provide a broad conceptual framework for thinking about how students learn with understanding and some of the implications for teaching for understanding. These could be quite helpful for teachers who want to investigate student understanding in their own classes. Learning with Understanding Learning with understanding is a “sense making” activity. Understanding develops as a person uses what s/he already knows (i.e., prior knowledge) to construct meaning out of new information. Learning with understanding is like working a jig saw puzzle—the person determines relationships and connections among new ideas and facts and prior knowledge—just as one takes new pieces out of the box and tries to determine their relationship to the puzzle pieces already assembled on the board. As a person renders new information sensible, his or her knowledge about the topic not only increases quantitatively, but changes qualitatively by becoming more differentiated and elaborated. The result is a representation or mental model that structures the conceptual knowledge. In contrast, rote learning is a process in which the person tries to copy new information into memory. Although, the individual may be able to replicate the material, he or she does not necessarily grasp the relationships among the ideas and facts. Alfred North Whitehead, referred to this as “inert knowledge,” information the person can recall but cannot use productively for other thinking or problem solving. (See Rote Learning vs. Learning With Understanding)
John Dewey described the process of learning with understanding as one in which the individual develops a well differentiated, elaborated mental representation of the topic. To grasp the meaning of a thing, an event or situation is to see it in its relations to other things; to note how it operates or functions, what consequences follow from it; what causes it, what uses it can be put to. In contrast, what we call the brute thing, the thing without meaning to us is something whose relations are not grasped. (Dewey, How We Think) Learning with understanding then is a sense-making/meaning-making/knowledge-building activity. It results from mental acts in which a person creates/builds/establishes/determines new relationships and connections among facts and ideas. As understanding develops, the learner’s mental model of the subject matter becomes more highly differentiated. Some researchers view understanding more like an ability and less like a mental model or mental representation of knowledge. In this view understanding is an ability to think and act flexibly with what one knows. Understanding, in other words, is not simply constructing an idea, but being able to use the idea in various ways. As Harvard psychologist David Perkins says, Understanding is a matter of being able to do a variety of thought-provoking things with a topic, such as explaining, finding evidence and examples, generalizing, applying, analogizing and representing the topic in new ways. . . . understanding is being able to carry out a variety of actions or “performances” that show one’s grasp of a topic and at the same time advance it. It is being able to take knowledge and use it in new ways. . . such performances are called “understanding performances” or “performances of understanding.” . . . learning for understanding is like learning a flexible performance—more like learning to improvise jazz or hold a good conversation or rock climb than learning the multiplication table or the dates of the presidents or that f = ma. Learning facts can be a crucial backdrop to learning for understanding, but learning facts is not learning for understanding. (Perkins, Teaching For Understanding) The representational and performance models of understanding are complimentary. Learning with understanding produces a well differentiated mental model in which the person establishes relationships and connections among facts and ideas. But learning with understanding also entails using knowledge in ways that demonstrate and advance students’ grasp of the subject matter.. Human beings are disposed to make sense out of new information, events and experiences. In academic settings, learning with understanding sometimes is straightforward and effortless. In school, students read a book, listen to a teacher, hold a discussion, write a paper and may develop reasonable understanding of the subject. But, very often learning with understanding is slow, full of false starts, hesitations, and difficult. In fact, it may be far more difficult than we anticipate. Contemporary research in psychology and education indicates that many students acquire little more than passing familiarity with the subjects we teach. Based on a review of research, Howard Gardner concluded that . . . an ordinary degree of understanding is routinely missing in many, if not most students. It is reasonable to expect a college student to be able to apply in a new context a law of physics, or a proof in geometry, or a concept in history of which she just demonstrated mastery in her class. If when the
4 circumstances of testing are slightly altered, the sought-after competence can no longer be documented, then understanding—in any reasonable sense of the term—has simply not been achieved. (1991, The Unschooled Mind, p.6) The prevailing view among researchers is that deep understanding is not an automatic consequence of being taught or trying to learn. Attaining deep understanding of a subject is not simply a matter of paying attention in class and studying hard. Students can devote many hours to learning and come away with relatively little understanding of the subject. Teachers can engage students in many types of learning experiences—lectures, discussions, projects, experiential learning—and students can come away with relatively little understanding of the subject. Factors that Complicate Learning with Understanding The Prior Knowledge Problem. An important factor that influences new learning is what the student already knows, believes, and understands about the subject. Learning with understanding is difficult when students either have misconceptions about the subject or lack differentiated knowledge of the subject. A large research literature shows how students’ preconceptions, misconceptions and stereotypes can be formidable obstacles to new learning. (For an excellent review of this literature see, The Unschooled Mind, by Howard Gardner.) Misconceptions not only can thwart new learning, but can reappear after a person has seemingly shed the misconception and learned the “correct” ideas. For example, research on learning science concepts shows that many college students hold incorrect ideas about physics at the beginning of a college level course. These students can take a physics class and learn the concepts correctly. However, soon after completing the course, they revert back to their pre-course misconceptions of physics. (See the Science Misconceptions handout) A misunderstanding is still an “understanding,” but differs from consensually held beliefs about the topic. For example, in the well known video program, “A Private Universe,” Harvard graduates were asked to explain what accounts for seasonal change (i.e., why it is hot in summer, cold in winter). Most of them mistakenly asserted that seasonal change is due to the distance between the earth and the sun at various times during the year. These intelligent people probably studied the “correct” version of seasonal change at some point in their schooling. Nonetheless, when asked for an account they used “distance-from-thesun” as a plausible explanation for seasonal change. If you accept the idea that learning with understanding is a process in which a person tries to make sense out of new information by connecting it to prior knowledge and establishing relationships among ideas, then it should come as no surprise that misunderstanding and misconceptions are common, natural consequences of learning with understanding. As one learns, one’s understanding might be distorted, misguided, tangled, wrong-headed, and so on. The opening quotation by Grant Wiggins underscores the notion that misunderstanding is not confined to novice learners, but an inherent part of making meaning. The Inert Knowledge Problem. A second dilemma is the problem of inert knowledge or lack of transfer of learning. We know that knowledge and skills learned in one situation often do not transfer to new contexts in which they are relevant (Salomon and Perkins, 1989; Bransford and Schwartz, 1999). Even when students seem to have a reasonable grasp of the subject, they have difficulty transferring newlylearned ideas to new situations. This condition is so persistent and pervasive that it warrants special status as an inherent learning problem. Teachers have no trouble citing instances of knowledge transfer problems in their classes. It seems that students, even when they appear to know something, often cannot use what they know in new situations to interpret, analyze, evaluate, or solve novel problems. That is, even when students can “think about” the subject matter, they may not be able to “think with it.”
5 Transfer of learning is a multifaceted problem. A recent series of studies by Dan Schwartz and John Bransford at Vanderbilt University examined conditions that foster knowledge transfer. They studied students in an upper level college psychology class who were learning about memory theories. The researchers “measured” students’ understanding by having them make predictions about a memory experiment. This requires students to use their knowledge of memory theories to figure out how the results of a new experiment might turn out, i.e., transfer knowledge to a novel situation. Transfer of learning to a new problem is good evidence of understanding. The study compared students in three different learning conditions. One group of students read and summarized a text on memory theories, and then listened to a lecture designed to help them organize their knowledge and learn with understanding. (Note: This is a typical sequence in many classes—students read the material and then hear a lecture about it.) A second group did not read the text at all. Instead they were given simplified data sets from several memory experiments and were asked to compare them. The data sets were chosen to illustrate “contrasting cases” or important differences between the studies. After analyzing the data, students heard the same lecture as group one. The third group did not read the text or hear the lecture. Instead they spent twice as much time as group two analyzing and comparing the contrasting data sets. Group 2 (analyze material + listen to lecture) outperformed the other two groups—these students made almost three times as many accurate predictions as did either group one (read + write a summary + listen to lecture) or group 3 (double the amount of analysis but no lecture). The combination of analysis and lecture produced better understanding. The group that only analyzed the studies did as well as the group that read and summarized the material and heard the lecture. What accounts for the difference in performance? The analysis of the contrasting data sets prepared students to learn from the lecture. The analysis helped students develop more differentiated knowledge of the subject, which combined with the explanatory framework of the lecture to produce deeper understanding of the material. The lecture was necessary as indicated by the poor performance of the group that only analyzed the data sets. Moreover, simply summarizing the text, did not prepare students to benefit from the lecture. Although they certainly must have learned and remembered the reading material, their undifferentiated knowledge did not prepare them to grasp the explanatory framework presented in the lecture. Design Principles that Support Learning with Understanding Through much of the 18th, 19th and even 20th centuries, teachers of English, as well as other subjects, believed that with proper grammar, people could in Lindley Murray’s 1795 phrase, “transfuse. . . sentiments into the minds of one another” (1849, p.5). That is, knowledge could be conveyed directly through words and could be apprehended directly by anyone having adequate facility in the language. (George Hillocks in Ways of Thinking, Ways of Teaching, p.19) Most teachers know that even when they present flawless, crystal clear explanations students can develop misunderstandings. But as Hillocks suggests, the belief that teachers can, in fact, copy meaning into the minds of learners is deeply entrenched in the epistemologies of educators. Even though we cannot transmit meaning into the minds of students, we tend to teach as though we can. Teachers can provide information that might be accessible to the minds of students, but students have to construct meaning from the information they receive. We need to consider how our teaching helps students develop understanding. That is—how can we help students to construct the “right kind of meaning?” Many educators have adopted active learning pedagogies to engage students in the kind of thinking that leads to deeper understanding of the subject matter (e.g., problem-based learning, project-based learning, case-based learning, cooperative learning, service learning, and varieties of learning with new technologies). Each of these approaches has its
6 advantages and virtues. Rather than compare these approaches, it may be more fruitful to consider design principles and considerations that support learning with understanding regardless of the overall pedagogical approach. Knowledge Worth Understanding. A serious concern is the question of what we want students to understand and know how to do with what they learn. Given the fact, that the development of deep understanding is a hard fought endeavor, we need to be sure that we ask students to learn important disciplinary knowledge and not just fragments or isolated concepts. At the very least this means we ought to identify the concepts and ideas we want to endure beyond the course and dedicate more time and attention to these. Learning Goals. Learning goals should create a need for students to understand. Beyond that, there should be a close connection between learning activities and the conceptual knowledge you want students to develop. Teachers need to ask how or in what ways specific learning activities (assignments, exercises, presentation of information, etc) engage students in making sense out of the subject matter. For example, in a traditional lecture format, students may do little more than transcribe information. However, as the Schwartz and Bransford studies show, an explanatory lecture can facilitate students’ understanding if they are adequately prepared to make use of it. Even in active learning approaches, the “doing” sometimes takes precedent over “doing with understanding.” As one designs an activity for students it seems essential to ask the question—how will this experience engage students in important sense-making, meaning-making, knowledge-building activities related to the subject matter. Scaffolds that Support Student Understanding. A scaffold is any support or process that helps a person solve a problem or achieve a goal which would be beyond their unassisted efforts. Scaffolds do things like: 1) provoke students to notice gaps, inconsistencies, bugs in what they have learned, 2) engage students in taking stock of and reconsidering what they already know, and 3) involve students in structuring and restructuring knowledge. Teaching for understanding might be construed as a process of scaffolding students learning with understanding—providing scaffolds to increase the chances that students will advance their learning with understanding. The analysis of data sets in the Schwartz and Bransford study is an example of a scaffold. The analysis engaged students in structuring and restructuring knowledge, noticing features between different sets of data, etc. That type of analysis was more beneficial than reading and summarizing text material prior to a lecture. Performances of understanding that reveal students’ understanding can also help to advance it. For example, when students try to explain a concept to someone else (not just to a teacher on a test), they reveal their understanding. In addition, the act of developing an explanation engages the kind of mental connection-making that drives knowledge building. In addition, trying to explain something often leads the “explainer” to recognize gaps in their thinking, sending the learner back to the drawing board. Another example of scaffolding comes from my own problem-based learning classroom. In the early phases of problem solving my students explore a complex problem situation and generate questions about what kinds of additional information they need to define the problem. During this phase I give them new information about the problem situation in response to their questions. Sometimes, I am able to see where students are headed with a particular set of questions and give them new information that will conflict with or contradict their hunches. For example, in my educational psychology class, students typically believe that self-esteem is the reason for all kinds of learning problems and school failure. My students have a number of serious misconceptions about self esteem and its role in learning. When I see their self esteem theory surfacing in a new problem situation, I can sometimes provide information that will lead them to conclude that self esteem is not the important factor in the problem.
7 Another similar scaffold is to provide students with alternative perspectives and interpretations at a critical juncture in a problem solving episode. In many active learning approaches students are in situations where they are trying to advance their own understanding and get beyond what they already know or what they initially learned about a subject. Sometimes in problem solving groups, students are unable to provide sufficient challenges to one another. The group often settles too quickly on the first plausible reason for a problem. One way to get students to reconsider their initial interpretations is to expose them to alternative “expert” perspectives that highlight ideas the students overlooked or did not think relevant. Good scaffolding supports and challenges students as they try to make sense out of the material. In order scaffold effectively, teachers need to be attuned to the way students think about the subject and to the kinds of problems they are likely to have. This entails a kind of “cognitive empathy” in which the teacher can look at the situation from students’ perspectives, and determine how to assist them in taking the next steps toward better understanding. The Critical Role of Assessment. Good assessment is a key feature of teaching for understanding. Students need to become familiar with the criteria and standards against which their understanding will be evaluated. They also benefit from being able to compare their own efforts to more advanced models. And, they benefit from self corrective feedback—information they can use to improve their own understanding. This is a tall order given the complex, multidimensional nature of understanding. How do we know someone understands something? It is relatively easy to determine whether a person can remember something. You ask a question and then compare the answer to the original information. Teachers go so far as to quantify their judgments—the person knew X% of the information. Assessing understanding is messier. Understanding exists in degrees; not in an all or none state. Partial understanding is the norm in most matters. What does it mean, for example, to say that you understand something? Do you understand the novel, Moby Dick, or understand the Constitution of the United States, or understand the calculus, or understand the game of baseball? On most matters, a person’s understanding is somewhere between two extremes with abject ignorance on one end and deep understanding on the other. No Clue---------1----------------l-------------------l------------------l--------------l------------Deep Understanding Toward the “no clue” end of the continuum we would say the person’s understanding is incomplete, underdeveloped, naïve, inchoate, half-baked, incipient, superficial, or trivial, Toward the “deep understanding” end of the continuum we would say the person’s understanding is rich, elaborate, profound, thorough, expert, or well developed. Moreover, misunderstanding and misconceptions can be part of the individual’s grasp of a subject. In order to make judgments about relative degree of understanding, we need to identify the qualities that differentiate superficial from deep understanding. If you just test a person’s recall of information you can be fairly confident that they know something. But, evaluating understanding is not as simple as counting up the number of correct answers. Instead one has to deal with depth, quality, levels, shades and distortions of understanding as opposed to making all or none judgments. So how do we evaluate a person’s grasp of a subject—their learning with understanding? The answer lies in creating situations and tasks for students through which they reveal their differentiated knowledge and their capacity to use their knowledge flexibly. I recommend two outstanding sources on which to build your own assessment strategies. One is Teaching for Understanding and The Teaching for Understanding Guide developed by researchers at Harvard. They explain how to devise “performances of understanding”
8 which they define as “activities that require students to use knowledge in new ways or situations. In such activities students reshape, expand on, extrapolate from, apply, and build on what they already know. Performances of understanding help students to build as well as demonstrate their understanding. Their model also uses a comprehensive rubric that distinguishes among different aspects of understanding and different levels of performances within each aspect. (See the TfU handout.) A second model comes from the work of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe and can be found in Understanding by Design and The Understanding by Design Handbook. Wiggins and Mc Tighe focus on six facets of understanding—explanation, interpretation, application, perspective, empathy, and selfknowledge. Students reveal their understanding through their ability to explain or interpret or achieve perspective, etc. In each case, it is possible to make meaningful qualitative distinctions among different “levels” of each facet. (See the Six Facets handout.) Frequent Opportunities for Formative Assessment and Revision We all know that learning is very difficult without feedback about one’s performance. Too often students get feedback after their final effort. They complete a project or paper and then the teacher evaluates it. The final grading episode is more like an autopsy than a diagnosis of the work and how to make it healthy. Understanding develops over time and students need feedback along the way to help them correct and advance their own ideas. Pure feedback is information that shows a person what they know or what they just did in relation to a goal or standard. Feedback is not criticism, praise, blame or guidance—it is just information that depicts one’s performance. If I run a race, the time clock at the finish line gives me feedback about my performance—it doesn’t praise me, criticize me, or tell me how to run a better race. But, I can use good feedback to compare my performance in relation to others or to my own goals. A classic example of good feedback is cited in Grant Wiggins’ book, Educative Assessment: Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve Student Performance. The episode takes place in a high school industrial arts class in which students learn how to weld together two pieces of metal. The teacher has placed a set of welds on a table that vary in quality from poor to outstanding. Before students hand in their own products they have to stop by the table and compare their work to the models. Time after time students are observed scanning the models with their own weld in hand. Then with no prompting from the teacher they return to their stations to re-work the piece. The challenge to all teachers is to develop a system that provides self corrective feedback, information about students’ understanding that tells then how they are doing in relation to a standard. Feedback can come from the teacher, other students or from models of past and present student work. Good feedback is a kind of scaffolding that helps the student appraise his or her own level of learning. Social Structures and Interaction that Promote Understanding. Constructivist learning theory contends that knowledge is socially negotiated and constructed. However, this does not mean that all social interaction leads to deep knowledge of a subject. Even well developed interactive approaches like cooperative learning do not necessarily advance students’ understanding of subject matter. The traditional cooperative learning model specifies how to make groups “work together” to accomplish mutual goals (Johnson, Johnson, and Schmidt, 1998). But there is nothing built into the cooperative learning model that guarantees students will learn with understanding. In recent years, some researchers have been creating and studying innovative learning environments. One model has been particularly successful in developing students’ understanding through collaborative effort. The Community of Learners (CoL) approach by Ann Brown and Joseph Campione structures the classroom so that students (in this case older elementary school children) do in fact develop
9 understanding. I quote this work at length because it illustrates a comprehensive way to design for understanding. In the community of learners classroom, students are encouraged to engage in self-reflective learning and critical inquiry. They act as researchers who are responsible, to some extent, for defining their own knowledge and expertise. In the community of learners classroom, teachers are expected to serve as active role models for learning and as responsive guides to students' discovery processes. Teachers learn to provide instruction on a need-to-know basis, which allows them to respond to students' needs, rather than to a fixed scope and sequence schedule or an inflexible lesson plan (Brown & Campione, 1990, 1996). Instead of emphasizing breadth of coverage, the content of the curriculum features a few recurring themes that students come to understand at increasingly sophisticated levels for explanatory coherence and theoretical generality. In addition, the technological environment is designed to foster an intentional learning environment, not to drill and practice or program (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1991), thereby encouraging student reflection and discussion. Finally, in the community of learners classroom, methods of assessment focus on the students' ability to discover and use knowledge, rather than focusing on basic retention, and on-line dynamic measures of performance are as important as static measures of product. In a community of learners science classroom students participate in research teams, systematically pursuing answers to important questions and working on consequential tasks. The teams in fact, do everything that adult scientists do when they create new knowledge in their fields—systematic investigation, peer review, and gradual acceptance of new ideas by the community. Assessment in community of learners classrooms indicates that students make significant progress in the ability to use new knowledge to interpret new concepts and solve new problems. In large measure these gains are due to the fact that collective analysis, inquiry, revision and general “knowledge worrying” are built into the work students do. The type of inquiry-oriented discourse that emerges in the class is not an accident, but a product of the way the classroom is designed to foster certain kinds of thinking and exchange of ideas. Summary There is no single teaching approach that advances students’ understanding better than all others. However, research is beginning to uncover design principles important for TfU. These include building classes around ideas worth understanding, scaffolds that support understanding, assessment that provides self corrective feedback, and knowledge-building social interaction. These principles can be adapted to most instructional circumstances, and are important consideration as teachers investigate the development of student understanding in their own classes and disciplines.
10 Teaching for Understanding References The first four references are excellent starting points for theory, research and practice related to teaching for and learning with understanding. Bransford, John D., Brown, Ann L., & Cocking, Rodney R. Editors 1999. How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and schooling. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. This book-length report summarizes important developments in the science of learning. Accessible to a non-specialist audience, the book examines such topics as differences between novices and experts, conditions that improve students’ ability to apply knowledge to new circumstances and problems, the design of learning environments, teacher learning, and effective teaching in history, mathematics, and science. This volume provides teachers with a thorough grounding in contemporary theory and research, and highlights important implications for teaching. Stone Wiske, Martha. Editor 1998. Teaching for understanding: Linking research with practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. This book is the product of a six-year collaborative research project by school teachers and researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Although it focuses on pre-collegiate teaching, it is applicable to university-level teaching as well. According to the TfU model, there are four fundamental elements in teaching for understanding—generative topics that afford possibilities for deep understanding in a subject, goals that explicitly state what students are expected to understand, performances of understanding through which students develop and demonstrate understanding, and ongoing assessment. The book provides interesting examples of these elements from actual classrooms and examples of student performance. This volume should be valuable for any instructor who views better student understanding as a primary goal of the scholarship of teaching. The TfU framework has helped me think about teaching for understanding in a more systemic and integrative way. Wiggins, Grant 1998. Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. This book, a precursor to Understanding by design by the same author, challenges common assessment practices and offers a comprehensive approach to the design and practice of assessment intended to improve student performance. The book examines authentic assessment, the nature of feedback, how to use assessment to promote understanding, how to assess understanding, how to design assessments and create assessment systems. It is itself an important contribution to the scholarship of teaching that provides fundamental grounding is how and why to evaluate student learning and performance. I have used the book extensively to develop a more consistent assessment philosophy and also as a handbook to guide in the design of assessment materials. Wiggins, Grant and McTighe, Jay. 1998. Understanding by design. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. This book proposes that understanding is revealed to the extent that one can explain, interpret, apply, empathize, and have perspective and self-knowledge. The authors describe a process by which teachers can design experiences and materials to be consistent with these facets of understanding. A key component of the process is a way to assess understanding. Toward this end, they offer a rubric that defines different “levels” of understanding and suggest ways to evaluate different facets of understanding. This is a valuable book for those who want to translate abstract notions of understanding into concrete, observable aspects of student performance. I have used their model to help clarify and assess the quality and depth of understanding in my investigations of student learning.
11 Additional References and Web-Based Resources Related to Teaching for and Learning with Understanding Bransford, J.D. and Schwartz, D.L. (in press). Rethinking transfer: A simple proposal with educational implications. In A. Iran-Nejad & P.D. Pearson (Eds.), Review of Research in Education, (Vol. 24). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association. Cerbin, W. (1999). The development of student understanding in a problem-based educational psychology course. The work I have done on problem-based learning in my own classes is located at http://kml.carnegiefoundation.org/gallery/bcerbin/ Dewey, J. (1933). How we think. New York: D.C. Heath. Gardner, H. (1991). The unschooled mind: How children think and how schools should teach. NY: Basic Books. McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (1999). The understanding by design handbook. Alexandria, VA. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development/ Perkins, D.N. (1998). What is understanding. In M.S. Wiske. Teaching for understanding: Linking research to practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Schwartz, D.L. & Bransford, J.D. (1998). A time for telling. Cognition and Instruction, 16(4), 475-522. Williams, S.M. & Hmelo, C.E. (1998). Learning through problem solving. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 7(3&4). Wiske, M.S. (1998). Teaching for understanding: Linking research to practice. San Francisco: JosseyBass. Online Resources and Materials Understanding by Design website http://ubd.ascd.org/index.html Problem-based learning sites. For an extensive comparison of PBL to other types of teaching approaches see http://www.imsa.edu/team/cpbl/whatis/matrix/matrix2.html which is part of the Center for Problembased Learning site at the Illinois Math and Science Academy, http://www.imsa.edu/team/cpbl/cpbl.html For an extensive online bibliography of material about PBL see http://www.newcastle.edu.au/services/iesd/learndevelop/problarc/bibliography.html which is part of the Problem-Based Learning and Assessment Research Centre (PROBLARC) site at the University of Newcastle, Australia, http://www.newcastle.edu.au/services/iesd/learndevelop/problarc/ Two www sites that include links to PBL resources around the world are Samford University at http://lr.samford.edu/PBL/index.html and the University of Delaware http://www.udel.edu/pbl/