Teaching for Understanding is one of the frameworks that I use to organize your instruction. This framework was developed by an educational research group called Project Zero at Harvard University. Some of the research actually took place in public schools in Oakland! The aims of this project are to examine the development of learning processes in children, adults, and organizations. The research of Project Zero has been personally highly influential to me as an instructor and pedagogist. The Studio Thinking Frameworks (The Studio Habits of Mind, Making Learning Visible, and Studio Structures for Learning) developed from this research as well.

From their website:

“Today, Project Zero’s work includes investigations into the nature of intelligence, understanding, thinking, creativity, ethics, and other essential aspects of human learning. Our mission is to understand and enhance high-level thinking and learning across disciplines and cultures and in a range of contexts, including schools, businesses, museums, and digital environments.”

What are the four Dimensions of Understanding?

KNOWLEDGE: What facts and information do people need to grasp about this discipline in order to understand it?

METHODS/PROCESSES: How do people in this discipline work? What kinds of things do they need to be able to do in order to learn and practice this discipline?

PURPOSES: Why does this discipline matter? Why would someone need to learn and work in this discipline?

FORMS: What kinds of products and performances do people produce in this discipline?