This area links to articles and resources related to teacher planning from a variety of perspectives - What do I want students to know and be able to do? (Saphier); Linking curriculum activities to learning objectives/outcomes and assessments (TWSM); identifying desired results, determining acceptable evidence and planning learning experiences and instruction (McTighe and Wiggins) and integrating the four dimensions of learner centered, knowledge centered, community centered, assessment centered (Bransford et. al).
Knowing what students are learning and what they need to know is critical information for shaping learning environments. When students don't learn, the community suffers. High stakes testing only makes clear the dimensions of the problem. Assessment that is ongoing and prescriptive can help make every student a valued member of society without the negative affects of ranking schools.
This area contains articles that provide background on developing classrooms as learning communities. Teachers can build community-centered environment, one where students support one another's learning, act as part of a community, share and respect multiple perspectives. Another dimension includes the way language is used.
A knowledge- centered classroom addresses what is taught (Information, subject matter) why it is taught (understanding) and what competence or mastery looks like. (Bransford et al). Articles and research in this area cover these topics as well as look at how different types of knowledge require different instructional strategies (Marzano).
When teachers construct a learner-centered environment they are aware of the knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs that learners bring to the classroom. Teachers start with what students know and then explore student's thinking in relation to the curriculum content. This area contains articles and references that help teachers understand and build learner centered classrooms.
Goals and essential questions set the direction for learning and identify the concepts, processes, and skills about which we want students to understand. Goals pertain to an entire course or unit, guide instructional decisions, and provide a framework for daily instruction. (Blythe 1998). This area includes references and articles that help teachers define their goals and use them as the foundation for their lesson plans and assessment.