Howard Gardner II: On Understanding in Action

“The test of understanding involves neither repetition of information learned nor performance of practices mastered. Rather, it involves the appropriate application of concepts and principles to questions or problems that are nearly posed…. Whereas short-answer tests and oral responses in classes can provide clues to student understanding, it is generally necessary to look more deeply…. For these purposes, new and unfamiliar problems, followed by open-ended clinical interviews or careful observations, provide the best way of establishing the degree of understanding…attained.”

Howard Gardner

The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach

Excerpted from: Wiggins, Grant, and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 1998.

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