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10.6: Planning for Instruction as well as for Learning

  • Page ID
    11633
  • This chapter started with one premise but ended with another. It started with the idea that teachers need to locate curriculum goals, usually from a state department of education or a publisher of a curriculum document. In much of the chapter we described what these authorities provide for individual classroom teachers, and how their documents can be clarified and rendered specific enough for classroom use. In the middle of the chapter, however, the premise shifted. We began noting that instruction cannot be planned simply for students; teachers also need to consider involving students themselves in influencing or even choosing their own goals and ways of reaching the goals. Instructional planning, in other words, should not be just for students, but also by students, at least to some extent. In the final parts of the chapter we described a number of ways of achieving a reasonable balance between teachers' and students' influence on their learning. We suggested considering relatively strong measures, such as an emergent or an anti-bias curriculum, but we also considered more moderate ones, like the use of the Internet, of local experts and field trips, of service learning, and of guided and independent practice. All things considered, then, teachers' planning is not just about organizing teaching; it is also about facilitating learning. Its dual purpose is evident in many features of public education, including the one we discuss in the next two chapters, the assessment of learning.

    Chapter Summary

    In the United States, broad educational goals for most subject areas are published by many national professional associations and by all state departments of education. Usually the state departments of education also publish curriculum framework or curriculum guides that offer somewhat more specific explanations of educational goals, and how they might be taught.

    Transforming the goals into specific learning objectives, however, remains a responsibility of the teacher. The formulation can focus on curriculum topics that can analyzed into specific activities, or it can focus on specific behaviors expected of students and assembled into general types of outcomes. Taxonomies of educational objectives, such as the ones originated by Benjamin Bloom, are a useful tool with either approach to instructional planning.

    In addition to planning instruction on students' behalf, many teachers organize instruction so that students themselves can influence the choice of goals. One way to do so is through emergent curriculum; another way is through multicultural and anti-bias curriculum.

    Whatever planning strategies are used, learning is enhanced by using a wide variety of resources, including the Internet, local experts, field trips, and service learning, among others. It is also enhanced if the teacher can build bridges between curriculum goals and students' experiences through judicious use of modeling, activation of prior knowledge, anticipation of students' preconceptions, and an appropriate blend of guided and independent practice.

    Key terms

    • Affective objectives
    • Anti-bias education
    • Bloom's taxonomy
    • Content integration
    • Curriculum framework
    • Educational goals
    • Emergent curriculum
    • Equity pedagogy
    • Guided practice
    • Independent practice
    • Indicators
    • Instructional planning
    • Learning commons
    • Learning objectives
    • Modeling as demonstration
    • Modeling as simplified representation
    • Multicultural education
    • National standards
    • Psychomotor objectives
    • Scope and sequence
    • Service learning
    • State standards
    • Taxonomy of educational objectives

    On the Internet

    These are two of many websites that explains what behavioral objectives are, and how to write them. They give more detail than is possible in this chapter.

    • http://med.fsu.edu/education/Faculty...ent/objectives.asp
    • thtp://www.adprima.com/objectives.htm >
    • http://www.adl.org/tools teachers/tips antibias ed.asp: This page is part of the website for the Anti-Defamation League of America, an organization dedicated to eliminating racial and ethnic bias throughout society. This particular page explains the concept of anti-bias education, but it also has links to pages that contain tips for teachers dealing with racial and ethnic bias.
    • < http://education- world, com/standards: This website contains links to educational standards documents written by every major state department of education and a number of national and professional associations. It covers all of the major subjects commonly taught in public schools.

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