Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


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core definition

Unwrapping refers to the process of making transparent what students need to learn, be able to do or understand when achieving a specified learning goal.

explanatory context

Unwrapping is predominantly a notion foun in the United States at all levels of education and refers to the process of making clear 'standards' in the sense of learning outcomes.

analytical review

PB Works curriculumdesignproject quotes Ainsworth (2003), thus:

Unwrapping the standards is the process of identifying the concepts and skills in the NYS Standards (the general statements of learning outcomes - what students need to know and be able to do) and the performance indicators (grade/level specific learning outcomes). Unwrapping the standards will also include identifying the "Big Ideas" of the standard as they relate to learning and form the basis of the development of essential questions. The ultimate goal is for students to be able to answer the essential questions in their own words, using elements of the "Big Ideas" within the particular context teachers use to teach the concepts and skills. (undated) state:

Unwrapping the standards means to identify the concepts and skills found in both the standards and the indicators. It means to examine the standards and the grade-specific indicators to determine exactly what students need to know, be able to do through a particular context.

associated issues


related areas

See also


learning outcomes


Ainsworth, L., 2003, "Unwrapping" the Standards. Denver, Advanced Learning Press quoted at PB Works curriculumdesignproject website, Unwrapping the Standards, available at, accessed 9 September 2012. Ainsworth 2003 is also cited elsewhere as Unwrapping the standards: A simple process to make standards manageable. Englewood, CO: Lead + Learn Press, still available 11 January 2017. (undated), in a document named 'Quiz Quiz Trade-3.unpacking the standards.doc' and headed LEARNING TARGET available on-line via Google search 28 January 2012.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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