Susan lives in Kelowna BC, Canada. She currently works as an education consultant. During the past 15 years Susan has worked with schools and districts in Canada, the US, South Africa and Singapore. She has presented at ASCD and Learning Forward conferences. Susan’s primary focus is working with schools and districts who want to design curriculum using Understanding by Design®.

Prior to her consulting work Susan was a Faculty Associate for Simon Fraser University (BC) for 3 years. She taught pre-service teachers to design their curriculum using the principles and processes of Understanding by Design and apply their design to motivate their students to pursue deep learning. It was this powerful experience that convinced Susan that Understanding by Design is each K-16 student’s best opportunity for a positive, challenging and worthwhile education.

In the K-12 BC school system Susan was a teacher leader for 10 years. She coordinated professional learning opportunities as well as providing professional learning in assessment design, interactive learning strategies, drug and alcohol prevention, sexual health and child abuse prevention. Prior to this work Susan was an elementary school counselor for 10 years, working primarily with abused children and their families. She also served as president of the BC School Counselors’ Association for 3 years.

Susan began her teaching career in high school physical education, teaching and coaching a variety of sports. She also taught History, Social Studies, Middle School Science and Music (band).

Susan has been a member of Dr. Pat Wolfe’s company, “Mind Matters” since 2000. The ‘fit’ between Understanding by Design and how the human brain learns makes Understanding by Design one of the most defensible education innovations in this century.

During the past 8 years Susan has traveled to Singapore multiple times to work with hundreds of teachers in Singapore’s public education system. The primary focus has been curriculum design using the Understanding by Design framework.

Susan holds a BEd degree from the U. of British Columbia (physical education and history); a Master’s degree from the U. of Victoria (School Counseling) and an EdD from Nova Southeastern U (Educational Leadership).

Areas of Expertise

  • Curriculum design using the Understanding by Design® framework
  • The brain and learning in school
    • Less is more: chunk and process
    • Using nature’s tools: conversation and cognition
    • Feedback
  • Assessment design: performance task and the rest of the assessment plan
  • Criteria and Rubrics
    • Co-creating with students
    • Inter-rater reliability rubric design

Available for consulting work in:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Middle East
  • Africa