Planning for Instruction: Benefits and Obstacles of Collaboration

By Valeri Helterbran.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Planning for instruction is a foundational element of good teaching. It makes learning purposeful and provides a framework from which goal development and the implementation and assessment of instruction can be cultivated and refined. Planning as a solitary activity remains the norm. Planning collaboratively, while not a new concept, remains elusive in large measure despite the knowledge that engaging in the planning process with others can powerfully influence teaching. The field of education supports a professional culture often characterized by individual planning, a poorly recorded instructional legacy, and inadequate scaffolding to support planning functions. These elements conspire to impede the practice of collaborative planning. Recognizing and understanding these barriers is an important first step toward eliminating or circumventing them. In working toward a more collaborative model of planning, this paper discusses the planning function, the necessity for instructional planning, the benefits of planning with others, and identifying obstacles which interfere with the collaborative process.

Keywords: Collaborative Planning, Planning for Instruction, Lesson Planning, Student Achievement

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp.89-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 560.216KB).

Dr. Valeri Helterbran

Associate Professor, Department of Professional Studies in Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvanina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA

Valeri R. Helterbran is an Associate Professor in the Professional Studies in Education Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pennsylvania. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in pedagogy, curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership. She is a lifelong educator who taught at the elementary and secondary levels and was a middle school and high school principal for almost two decades. Dr. Helterbran is the author of Why Flamingos are Pink…and 250 Other Things You Should Know, Exploring Idioms: A Critical-thinking Resource for Grades 4-8, and co-authored Planning for Learning: Collaborative Approaches to Lesson Design and Review. In addition to publication work in scholarly and practitioner journals, she also publishes a weekly column in her local newspaper called “Things Every Kid Should Know.” She was named 2005 Pennsylvania Teacher Educator of the Year. Her research interests include teacher effectiveness, critical thinking strategies, and publishing for children.


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