Sadly, education lost a brilliant researcher and advocate this week when Grant Wiggins, one of the fathers of Understanding by Design, passed away suddenly. While I can add nothing that has not already been said, I encourage you to visit and explore his blog. He has some excellent material on assessment, literacy, social studies education, curriculum design, and more. His loss will be felt for a long time.

Here are three recent posts of his that are relevant for us as social studies and civics educators.

This first one looks at the NAEP results that were recently released to quite the hue and cry:


Another post asks an important question, and a frustrating one: why do history teachers lecture so much? In case you can’t tell, he is NOT a fan.


One of the positive things about Dr. Wiggins’ blog is that he is responsive to feedback and participatory in the comments, so he has a follow up post that sort of addresses the question while offering solutions. This post is done by a colleague of his, a practicing history teacher even, that allows Wiggins to give the stage to someone who can sell the point perhaps a little stronger! 

history lectre

I encourage you to remember Wiggins as a leader, and be sure to check out his recent and important work!