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Information for educators or anyone wanting to teach

Pedagogy. The art & science of teaching - how knowledge & skills are learned and taught in an educational setting (instruction).

Curriculum. All the planned and unplanned experiences students experience in school and out.

Outstanding educators and teachers use a variety of ideas and tools to strive to become outstanding professional educators. The depth and quality of those ideas and tools vary depending on their experiences. Below are categories with links to ideas and tools for teachers and educators development.

Outstanding educators:

Ideas and skills for developing curriculum and the ability to implement it - pedagogy (learning, teaching, instruction) has infinite possibilities with many of its elements compounding decisions. Therefore, it is impossible to sufficiently describe the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and processes used to create and implement all curricular decisions. However, it is hoped enough is included here to provide the necessary information to make better informed decisions.

Since curricular and pedagogical decisions are influenced by many variables, which educators consider almost simultaneously to make the thousands of decisions they do every day, and communication is a linear process, the presentation of ideas here is generally a linear progression. Meaning, some information is presented before an explanation is presented. However, most topics and information presented and linked here do have information to support them independently. Hopefully in a link or not too far below on this page.


Curriculum is sometimes defined as all planned and unplanned experiences of students in school and out of school.

Good curriculum development plans for both and results in documentation. Documents to communicate: with ourselves as memory devices, fellow educators, others interested in education, learners to facilitate their learning, adminsitrators, and stake holders who are curious or desire assessment information for accountability.

Documents include: frameworks, theories, mission statements, philosophies, principled procedures, action plans, models, instructional procedures, syntax, lesson plans, units, year plans, multigrade curriculums and assessment plans. They can be organized with different scopes, durations, grade levels, and information to learn. Examples of these documents and information used to guide their creation follow.

Big picture resources for elements of curriculum & development

Puposes of Education, Professional educator conceptual framework, theories, & educational philosophy

Research on learning, human develpment, & management to inform curriculum & pedagogy

Learning & human development research

  • Multiple intelligences theory review of 9 categories, explanations, examples, and discussionon on how activities fit or don't fit the different intelligences

Management of individuals, groups, & classrooms research to inform curriculum & pedagogy

Pedagogy - Instructional theory, model designs , & frameworks

Instructional theories are an mportant aspect of pedagogy. A general instructional theory is presented, followed by three most common instructional theories, then several other sytax or procedures which can be insterted into other theories or models. The focus of these is procedural with the specifics on how to plan instruction in the section: Planning instruction.

Frameworks for planning pedagogoy - instruction

Planning results in documentation to communicate: with ourselves as memory devices, fellow educators, others interested in education, learners to facilitate their learning, adminsitrators, and stake holders who are curious or desire assessment information for accountability.

Instructional plans are for different lengths of time (daily lesson plan, weekly plan, unit, year plan, or multiple years) and created for a specific student or group of students (lesson plan, IEP, remedial lesson, gifted lesson, ) or for a generic group of students (preschool, first grade, primary, middle level, chemistry, health, k-12 music, and k-16 curriculums or standards).

Both duration of planning and the intended learners determine the kinds of information. Plans created closer to their use usually have more specific information. Plans created further from their use and for longer periods of time are more global and include more integrated information. Which usually requires diagrams, tables, matrices, and links to related information to communicate the complexities of the content and how it will be implemented for students to achieve the desired outcomes.

When educators begin to plan they use information, intentionally or unintentionally, to determine the kind of plan, its time frame, their professional educator theoretical framings and elements of curriculum to inform their decisions. Their ideas come together first as their mental planning outline or framework to organize the information they believe should be included to implement instruction. At some point they create or select a physical outline or framework to guide their planning and document their work. The process will continue as they review information, add information, modify it, and organize it to reflect their philosophy, experiences, styles, preferred theories, models, instructional strategies, curriculum guides, state and local requirements, and their student's personal needs to achieve a working document to guide their implementation.

Frameworks, outlines, or checklists are created for all kinds of curriculumm planning. Some are mental and others physical. Here are some different kinds arranged sorta from short duration to longer.

Lesson plan frameworks

Units, activity sequence frameworks

Year plan frameworks & outlines

Organization is crucial: first, to insure the inclusion of the necessary and sufficient information and second, to provide information quickly and efficiently to those who need it to implement the plan (instruction). This implies a way to condense information and communicate the relationships between and among the information in a manner that is easy to navigate yet includes the necessary and sufficient information for the intended learning goals and outcomes.

Information critical to planning includes four general areas:

  1. Introductory information: beliefs, philosophies, rationale, mission statements, action plans, principled procedures...
  2. Content: what students are to learn and do.
  3. Instructional procedures: how learning might be facilitated - including activities, procedures that implement instructional theory, models, syntax ...
  4. Assessment and evaluation of intended goals and outcomes.

The amount of information on a framework or plan varies depending on its purpose. Lesson plans may only include activities and sometimes instructional procedures. Units and year plans are more likely to include introductory information and assessment.

While the a comprehensive plan and the kinds of elements included are very important to communicate what a curriculum intends as student learnings the comprehnsiveness of plans teachers use to teach may not indicate the quality of instruction. There are outstanding teachers who are able to teach at expert levels with little planning. Similarly there are teachers who with the best of plans can't achieve expert levels.

However, all educators need to be able to communicate what they intend their students will achieve and provide a convincing plan that others will agree is reasonable and will likely enable students to successfully achieve the planned results. While remembering instruction is fluid and empower educators to make decisions with respect to implementation that may deviate from the plan as situations deem.

Before looking at plans and how to make them here are some common elements in plans with suggestions for better planning to review.

Assessment & evaluation

Cartoon testing animals

Assessment and evaluation can be embedded in planning and instruction without being labeled. However, it is helpful when it is not only identified, but four general types are considered and included. Details follow:

Creating Instructional planning documents

When educators feel they have information they want included in a plan, they begin to document that information, which can be inserted in an outline, framework, or in a blank document. Here are some generic

Planning steps & considerations for planning instruction to facilitate students' construction of concepts and generalizations.

Below are planning examples for different parts of the planning process.

Unpacking content

After a topic is selected information is unpacked and a general understanding of what might be included for the major elements of a plan. Different outlines or frameworks may be used to begin to consider necessary instructional information to build a plan of what is to be learned. It may also include: how its might be learned, how to faciliate its learning with different activities, its value of learning, how to assess student learnings, the classroom atmosphere, and how instruction might be assessed. These ideas and others educators consider when planning and teaching. Each may be planned and documented alone or with other elements of planning.

Sample Plans

Planning maps focused on concepts

Lesson plans in a linear design and chart

Lesson plans with a sequence of activities

Walk through of lesson planning or teaching with educator's mental thoughts and reflections.

Plans have strengths and weakness, which can be assessed with a check list of quality attributes for lesson plans.

Planning for longer sequences (week or weeks)

Planning guide for learning sequences or units.

Planning sequences in different states of completness

Year curriculums

Integration - Planning beyond subjects

Traditional curriculum is organized on subjects or discipines. Examples below descibe different kinds and amounts of integration.

  1. No integration. Curriculum or lesson sequences based on knowledge content of subjects, disciplines, or other topics that focus on one idea.
  2. Subject integration. Curriculum or lesson sequences that focuses on subjects or disciplines that define them withmultiple dimensions and integrate the different dimensions. Subject with dimension integration or integration within one subect.
  3. lesson or lesson sequence that focuses on multiple subjects with integration of different subjects which may include dimensions for each of the included subjects or not - subjects integration with or without integration of dimensions, Sample Theme based planning document with integration of subjects, human devleopment, and career.
  4. lesson or lesson sequence that defines contextual dimensions other than subject related, sometimes call real life integration or integrated studies.

Teaching Strategies to help students thinking and learning

Professional development documents and strategies

Reflecting and assessing as a professional educator instruction (teaching)

Freedom Writers

Movie Image

... on the recommendation of my granddaughter, I saw Freedom Writers.

I was very glad I did. It is one of the best films I have seen. The film presents the struggles of teaching and the life of a teacher. The passion, desire, and commitment needed to determine and provide what students need for them to develop to the point of empowerment, as well as the persistence and determination to overcome barriers to provide it. While fear and hate are the major barriers depicted in this film, barriers of traditional schooling and public misconceptions of what it means to be educated and how to achieve it are just as great of barriers to be overcome for students to achieve a quality education. Find the time to see this film with a loved one. It has life long empowering possibilities.

The Freedom Writer's movie trailer

Freedom Writer's foundation & resources ...


Page contents:


Education in Madrawar, Afghanistan. 2006.

Late one February night, more than a dozen masked gun carrying Taliban burst into the 10-room girls' school in Nooria's village, Madrawar about 100 miles east of Kabul. They tied up and beat the night watchman, soaked the principal's office and the library with gasoline, set it on fire and escaped into the darkness.

The townspeople, who doused the blaze before it could spread, later found written messages from the gunmen promising to cut off the nose and ears of any teacher or student who dared to return.

The threats didn't work. Within days, most of the school's 650 pupils were back to their studies. Classes were held under a grove of trees in the courtyard for several weeks, despite the winter chill, until repairs inside the one-story structure were complete. Nearby schools replaced some of the library's books.

But the hate mail kept coming, with threats to shave the teacher's heads as well as mutilate their faces.

When, NEWSWEEK visited and talked to students and faculty on the last day of classes. Nooria, who dreams of becoming a teacher herself, expressed her determination to finish school.

"I'm not afraid of getting my nose and ears cut off," she said, all dressed up in a long purple dress and head scarf.

"I want to keep studying."
Newsweek June 26, 2006

Middle & High Schools
Starting time:

The American Academy of Pediatrics & Centers for Disease Control recommend classes should start at 8:30 a.m. of later.


Albert Einstein said,

"It is a grave error to suppose that the joy of seeing and seeking can be furthered by compulsion or sense of duty."