The Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools finished their two-day professional development program last Friday at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan.
One of the new learning techniques unveiled was Understand by Design by Saipan International School headmaster Ron Snyder.
“Understand by Design basically shifts the focus from teaching to learning and identifying right away what is learned and what you want to develop that is learned,” said Snyder, who handed out a table diagram to further break down the keys to the new teaching method.
“The first stage of [Understand by Design] is to look at the desired results. Stage two of the [method] is to take those desired results and try to figure out how we assess it. Finally, stage three is to put together the learning plan and what steps do I need to take along the way,” he said.
Agape Christian School history teacher Todd Payne said Understand by Design could help him teach better.
“I think it gives us more time to talk to other teachers and what they want our kids to know so they can transfer that goal to the next grade, whether it’s to concentrate on a particular task and what we want to take to the 9th grade to 10th grade,” he said.
Saipan Community School teacher Sarah Vander Wal said the new teaching method could help prevent gaps in transferring knowledge to students.
Mount Carmel School teacher John Hernandez said the new method could be an effective tool when he goes back to his class.
“For me, Understand by Design is all about knowing where you are going and how the result will remain and how you will engage the student after the result,” he said.