After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
• Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles behind ‘big picture’ planning and the teaching and learning cycle
• Display an understanding of why and how to adjust planning to make more connections across the curriculum and to cater for different learning needs
• Apply the components of the planning process
• Recognise some of the constraints and issues in planning for teaching and learning
Planning for learning is essential for creating environments conducive to deep learning and to developing student understandings. Standard 3 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership [AITSL], 2014) specifies the need for all graduate teachers to be able to ‘plan for and implement effective teaching and learning’. Quality planning involves the systematic use of feedback data to design activities that encourage the assimilation and synthesis of information, leading to the creation of new understandings. Student learning should always be the goal.
‘Big picture’ planning enables teachers to make sure they cover the required curriculum while day plans and single lesson plans enable them to implement effective teaching and learning programs that meet their students’ learning needs. Although all teachers have their own preferred methods when it comes to how they plan, generally they all progress through similar phases represented in what is commonly known as the ‘teaching and learning cycle’. Good planning begins with the end in mind and incorporates multifaceted and interdependent elements that demand constant monitoring and adjustments by teachers in response to their ongoing assessment and evaluation as plans are enacted (Cornish & Garner, 2009). Planning, implementing, monitoring and adjusting are therefore part of an ongoing recursive process.
In this chapter, we look at the planning process in relation to all these elements: big picture planning, classroom-level planning, learning adjustments to cater for students’ learning needs, and a number of considerations that are relevant to the planning process. Some sample lesson plans are included.
Before we commence discussion of the planning process, take a moment to articulate your current knowledge, understanding and beliefs regarding planning for teaching. You may like to use the following questions to scaffold your thinking.
1. What do you currently understand by the term ‘planning for effective teaching and learning’?