Understanding

What do I want to learn?

Understanding goes beyond just having a sense of what is going on; the student knows in a deeper way-a way that enables him or her to explain and elaborate on the idea, concept, or skill under study. To make sense, to make meaning, is implied when a student understands and comprehends.

Understanding is that foundational level of thinking that opens the doorway for more analysis, evaluation, scrutiny, and critical thinking about the topic. First, the student must grasp the meaning, getting the gist of what is there; then he or she can make determinations that are more sophisticated. With a basic understanding, students can compare and contrast, categorize, prioritize, predict, infer, and generalize.

Understanding is the first measure of critical and creative literacy for students of all ages.