On Instructional Planning

All teachers plan. Those who are following the Standard Model of Education are likely to focus on content when they plan; they want to be sure they tell students everything they must tell them to cover all of the topics in the curriculum. They will also plan for how to best tell students what they need and what they should do to practice what is taught, so the focus is clearly on covering content. The instructor assumes all responsibility for this planning. This is reasonable as instructionism is based on the idea that the teacher is the expert in the field and knows the most efficient pathways through the curriculum. When planning is approached from a content-covering perspective, however, the instructors assume most of the responsibility for the activity in the classrooms as well. They actively cover the content while students passively receive the information then practice retrieval so they can recall it when necessary.  

Teaching for deeper learning finds instructors organizing the curriculum in an integrated manner, including problems, collaboration, whole tasks, and learning to learn. When preparing to teach for deeper learning, instructors recognize there may be different pathways through the curriculum and more and more diverse types of experiences must be included if students are going to experience deeper learning. Also, pathways may emerge as students identify new connections when problems or integrated concepts or themes are explored. As a result, some of these pathways may be perceived as less efficient (and likely they are), but they will be more effective as the students are more likely to learn and retain and be able to apply their knowledge.