Teaching for Historical Understanding (TfHU): Developing a Discipline-based Curriculum Model at Tanjong Katong Secondary School, pp. 10 of 17


What are some possible “introductory” understanding performance (or beginning activities)?


  • How can I best introduce students to the “big questions” or “problems” in this unit?
  • What are some ways I can use to raise/surface these questions and issues (in the class)?
  • How can I find out what the students already understand/think about the generative topic and understanding goals?

What are some possible “culminating” understanding performance (or main activities)?


  • What do I want students to understand about the topic? Can students do this activity without understanding?
  • How do these activities relate to what I want my students to understand? Do they allow students to apply/extend on what they already know?
  • How does this activity allow students to both develop & demonstrate their understanding?  
  • What kind of thinking could be incorporated into these activities, and how could they make their thinking visible?

Teacher reflections

A key component of the TfHU project was the continuous reflections on practice that the TK teachers undertook throughout the duration of the project. The consistent reflective process enabled the teachers to assess the effectiveness of their lesson designs such as through regular peer feedback and evaluation, as well as assessment of student responses during in-class activities and through the quality of written submission. Teachers also reflected on their own personal learning experiences in utilising TfHU as a curriculum framework, how these experiences have affected their professional practice, and on ways existing instruction could be improved by pursuing the TfHU approach. The teacher reflections by the individual teachers below provide some indications as to the kinds of experiences they went through during the project:       

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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