Understanding by Design®

Teaching for understanding and transfer

A framework for planning and structuring curriculum, assessment and instruction in the classroom.

Understanding by Design is an internationally-recognised framework for improving student achievement. It focuses on the importance of the teacher as a designer of student learning. Its key ideas are:

  1. a focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer; and
  2. designing curriculum backwards from that focus.

Understanding by Design is guided by the confluence of evidence from two streams: theoretical research in cognitive psychology and the results of student achievement studies.

Ready to begin teaching for understanding and transfer? Take the first step by downloading a free chapter of On Excellence in Teaching where Jay McTighe explains the Understanding by Design framework.

On Excellence in Teaching

On Excellence in Teaching

Learn from the world’s best education researchers, theorists and staff developers as they present recommendations on effective instruction. The book provides a comprehensive view of instruction from a theoretical, systemic and classroom perspective. The authors’ diverse expertise delivers a wide range of ideas and strategies. In this downloadable extract, Jay McTighe explains the Understanding by Design framework.

Professional Learning

In-School Support

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Books & Resources

Check out Understanding by Design® titles.