Great teachers know that every good lesson starts with a good plan. Component 1 in the DPAS-II teacher framework provides a common language and set of expectations for what constitutes good planning. There are five Criterion in Component 1, and each Criterion work together and complement one another, providing clear language to guide the development of lesson and unit plans.
When creating plans, educators often start with identifying the lesson outcomes.
Criterion 1a: Selecting Instructional Goals
defines the characteristics of strong instructional goals. As educators identify goals for their lesson, the critical attributes of Criterion 1a can help to ensure goals are well-aligned to the expectations of the DPAS-II framework. Specifically, an instructional goal should be a statement of the intended outcome of the day’s lesson. It should describe, in student friendly terms, what students should know and be able to do as a result of the lesson. Instructional goals are not simply the academic standards being taught that day. Nor are they a written agenda for the day’s lesson.
Criterion 1b: Designing Coherent Instruction
describes the heart of planning, which is designing the actual lesson and activities to support students to achieve the instructional goals. While this criterion is the second listed in Component 1, successful lesson design relies heavily on
Criterion 1c: Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
1d: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
. As a teacher identifies instructional goals and the plan to ensure students meet those goals, the teacher must be aware of several of the elements of Criterion 1a:
- Knowledge of content and the structure of the discipline;
- Knowledge of prerequisite relationships; and
- Knowledge of content-related pedagogy.
The Critical Attributes of Criterion 1a describe these elements in more detail.
While the teacher has to consider the content in selecting goals and designing instruction, the teacher also has to consider his or her students and the backgrounds, skills and interests. Criterion 1d describes several elements that a teacher should consider, including:
- Knowledge of child and adolescent development
- Knowledge of the learning process
- Knowledge of students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency
- Knowledge of students’ interests and cultural heritage; and
- Knowledge of students’ special needs.
When a teacher considers both what the content or discipline demands, and what students bring to their learning in terms of skills, knowledge and background, the teacher is then able to design instruction that helps students achieve the learning goal(s) set for them.
Teachers know that it is not enough to just select a goal and design a lesson; the teacher must also have a mechanism planned to assess whether or not students were successful at meeting the goal.
Criterion 1e: Designing Student Assessments
describes the elements of effective assessments that educators use in the classroom. The elements are:
- Congruence with the instructional outcome
- Criteria and standards
- Design of formative assessments
- Use for planning
Critical Attributes document for Component 1
outlines each of the Criterion in Component 1 in detail, including the elements and indicators that define effectiveness in each of these Criterion. This resource is an excellent tool for not only assessing Component 1 as a part of a DPAS-II evaluation, but also as a planning tool for teachers as they work to create and/or improve lesson plans. In next month’s issue we’ll take a deeper dive into lesson planning, and examine tools and templates educators can use.