Jay McTighe

Natalie Perry


Before leading the ASCD's Understanding by Design Jay was involved with school improvement projects at the Maryland State Department of Education. There he helped lead their standard based reforms, including standard based state assessments. He also directed the development of the Instructional Framework on Teaching. After that he served as a director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium, a state collab of school districts working together to share performance assesments. He is also spoken nation wide and is an author of several books. Jay received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, earned his master’s degree from the University of Maryland, and completed post-graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University.


His movement is focused on assessment procedures to improve the quality of student thinking. One of Jay;s key statements is "You can Teach for Meaning". Jay states, "Teaching for meaning is more apt to engage the learner and yield more meaningful, lasting learning than traditional fact-based and procedure based lecture, recitation, or textbook instruction.".

Impact on Public Education

This helped teachers understand how important it is to connect with the students. It also put emphasis on creative teaching, more than just instruction. Jay believes students are more likely to make meaning and gain understanding when they link new information to prior knowledge, relate facts to “big ideas,” explore essential questions, and apply their learning in new contexts.


"Membership." McTighe, Jay. ASCD, 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2015.

McTighe, Jay, Elliot Seif, and Grant Wiggins. "You Can Teach For Meaning." Educational Leadership, Sept. 2004. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.