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Teaching for Deep Understanding

Teaching for Deep Understanding
What Every Educator Should Know

Edited by:
  • Kenneth Leithwood - University of Toronto, Canada, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Canada
  • Pat McAdie - Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
  • Nina Bascia - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Canada
  • Anne Rodrigue - Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

April 2006 | 216 pages | Corwin

Empower students to reach new levels of thinking through teaching for deep understanding!

How do teachers successfully bridge the chasm between large numbers of very specific educational standards and deep understanding of important ideas? This well-researched text is based on the collaborative work between researchers and school practitioners to help answer this fundamental question.

The authors have drawn from the most up-to-date research to help teachers, curriculum developers, and school leaders discover how to implement and promote learner-centered, quality teaching strategies that encourage students' understanding. Organized into five parts, this text systematically uncovers how to:

  • Advance student learning using leading-edge research on powerful forms of instruction
  • Foster metacogniton in students and encourage them to take control of their own learning
  • Extend learning from academic thinking to real-world application across all disciplines
  • Learn how to instill a culture of deep understanding among students while still meeting specific achievement standards found in most district and state curricula

This timely and accessible resource reveals how rethinking school curriculum and teaching for deeper knowledge transfer can help students take control of their own learning.

About the Editors
About the Contributors
Part 1: The Significance and Meaning of “Deep Understanding”
Kenneth Leithwood, Pat McAdie, Nina Bascia, Anne Rodrigue, and Shawn Moore
1. Deep Understanding for All Students: The Overriding Goal for Schooling
Carl Bereiter
2. Reflections on Depth
Clive Beck and Clare Kosnik
3. The Starting Point: Constructivist Accounts of Learning
Sandra Folk
4. Understanding "Understanding": A Review of the Literature
Part 2: Teaching for Deep Understanding in the Disciplines
John Ross and Douglas E. McDougall
5. Mathematics
David Booth
6. The Role of Literacy and Literature
Larry Bencze
7. Imagine … An Enlightening and Empowering Science and Technology Education
Carl Bereiter
8. Understanding Technology
Mark Evans and Ian Hundey
9. Deepening Understanding and Competence in Social Studies Teaching
Kathleen Gallagher
10. Imagining Drama/Theatre and the Arts
Part 3: Teaching for Deep Understanding Across the Curriculum
Jim Cummins
11. Multiliteracies Pedagogy and the Role of Identity Texts
Michel Ferrari
12. Teaching Wisdom Through Deep Critical Thinking and Development of Character
Marlene Scardamalia
13. Technology for Understanding
Richard Messina and Richard Reeve
14. Knowledge Building in Elementary Science
Lorna Earl
15. Classroom Assessment for Deep Understanding
Part 4: The Challenge of Teaching for Deep Understanding
Pat McAdie
16. What Teachers Think
Part 5: Enabling the Teaching of Deep Understanding
Sandra Folk
17. Conditions Which Influence Teaching for Understanding
Nina Bascia, Anne Rodrigue, and Shawn Moore
18. The Importance of Partnerships to Support and Sustain Teaching for Deep Understanding
Carol Rolheiser and Mark Evans
19. Teaching for Depth in Teacher Education
Kenneth Leithwood, Pat McAdie, Anne Rodrigue, Shawn Moore, and Nina Bascia
20. Summary and Recommendations

"Clearly communicates that for substantive improvements like teaching for understanding to be implemented successfully, it is necessary to involve the stakeholders."

Eliot W. Larson, Principal
Fugett Middle School, West Chester, PA

"A refreshing reminder of the true nature of learning, providing a theoretical foundation, practical applications, and action strategies for promoting deeper understandings in our classrooms."

William Ferriter, NBCT Teacher of the Year
Teacher Leaders Network
Key features

-          up-to-date research and quality strategies from school leaders and teachers

-          ways to balance standards with inviting critical thinking and deeper understanding from students

-          a systemic approach to implementing teaching for deeper understanding


Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1