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Education Loses a Voice; Educators Remember Grant Wiggins

Education Loses a Voice; Educators Remember Grant Wiggins

'Understanding by Design' author Grant Wiggins passed away from a heart condition at age 64 and left behind a legacy in the education sphere that changed instructional practices and continues to serve as an inspiration for teachers across the country.

Wiggins published his famous book 'Understanding by Design' in 1998 and changed teaching instruction towards curriculum driven by learning goals. Up until his passing, he remained a powerful figure in the education community as president of the education training and consulting firm, Authentic Education, and as an outspoken voice that used any outlet he could to speak his beliefs.

Throughout his life and up until the very end, no topic concerning education was left uncovered by Wiggins. He discussed everything from opposing one-size-fits-all education standards to giving suggestions for effective feedback. Some of his article have been compiled by ASCD and can be viewed here.

Teachers and educators have taken to the internet to express the profound effect Wiggins has had on their teaching and lives.

"As an educator, Grant was able to deftly balance the trivium of education improvement–thought, research, and practical tools teachers can use in the classroom. As a result–in my opinion–there are few who have done more to change education in the last fifty years," said Terry Heick on

Another educator, Jenn Borgioli Binis, used her Twitter account to tweet: "Grant's work on essential questions helped me find my voice to advocate for learner-centered practices. A great loss. "

In the days before he passed, Wiggins was debating with fellow educator Daniel Willingham on teaching reading comprehension strategies (RCS) through his blog, "Granted, and..." The posts were re-published by the Washington Post's Answer Sheet. You can read his last posts and thoughts on reading comprehension here

Daniel Willingham took to Twitter to remember Wiggins by saying, "I greatly respected #grantwiggins and his consistent, careful analysis. RIP."

Grant Wiggin's profound impact on educators everywhere will be greatly missed but will continue on in the large body of work he leaves behind. Share your experiences with Grant Wiggins or how his work influenced you below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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