Good teaching doesn't happen by chance. All learning happens in a cultural context so we need to make intentional choices to create a trusting, equitable learning environment. One of the purposes of this model is to empower instructors to make learning accessible to all students and close the achievement gap whether it is related to race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, disability, or other reasons.
The Intentional Teaching Practices model is formatted into three categories to simplify your course planning. Student learning is at the heart of this model, however, the key to success in this model is the decisions the instructor makes when it comes to setting up the environment, communicating with students, the instructional choices they make, and which practice opportunities are chosen.
You are invited to click on each button below to move through the process of designing your course and each lesson with intentional choices that best fit your content, the students in your class, and your instructional style.
Step One: Teaching Environment and Instructional Tools
One of the most important things a teacher can do is provide a positive, welcoming, and inclusive learning environment for all students. All classrooms are comprised of both physical and psychological environments. Whenever possible the physical environment should reflect the instructional goals, and methods that will be used to teach the class. The psychological environment is how students feel about the community in the classroom, the effort instructors make to get to know each student and the culturally responsive practices that are used during class.
Ask yourself the following questions as you work through identifying your physical environment, creating your psychological environment, and choosing the instructional tools that best fit with your teaching style and your content. When you are ready click on Step 2 to continue.
Questions to consider:
- What type of classroom will you be teaching in? Does it meet your instructional needs?
- Which classroom tools would most help your students practice and learn?
- Which classroom technologies will you use for teaching or to enhance student learning?
- Which of the classroom community topics will you use to build a more inclusive classroom?
To access the tools click here:
Step Two: Instructional Choices
In Step 1 of the Intentional Teaching Practices model you identified the physical environment you will teach in, the psychological environment you want to create, and the instructional tools you will use. The curriculum has been decided and you are the content expert; now you have many more decisions to make about what your role will be in setting up the learning opportunities for your students. Ask yourself the following questions as you work through Step 2 of this model.
When you are ready click on Step 3 to continue.
Questions to consider:
- Which instructional practices fit best with your content and your teaching style?
- What are all the ways will you use to communicate with your students?
- Which class management topics can help you think through the logistics of your course?
- Would the use of groups in your class enhance student learning?
- How do you want your students to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in a high stakes assessment?
- When and how will you give feedback and which grading topic will help improve your efficiency?
To access the choices click here:
Step Three: Student Learning Activities and Practice
All learning must be placed in the learner's context if it is to have meaning. In order to acquire new information, the brain must place it in the context of something that is already known.
Students want to be engaged with the content, their peers, and their instructor. Step 3 of the Intentional Teaching Practices model is to choose activities that your students will do in and out of class to practice so they can develop a context in which to learn the content and skills from your class. Cooperative learning strategies are those that allow students to talk about the content and practice the skills with others. One of the most powerful practice activities you can set up for both you and your students is a formative assessment. These activities clearly demonstrate what content needs more practice time. Graphic organizers are wonderful measures of comprehension, and of course student success strategies need to be valued by professors, explicitly taught, and practiced regularly. Ask yourself the following questions as you work through Step 3 of this model.
If interested in using the peer evaluation rubric click on Step 4 to continue.
Click on any of the links in the chart to get a strategy card with a description, why and when to use it, and a link for more information.
Questions to consider:
- Which cooperative learning strategy best fits to practice each topic you teach?
- Which formative assessment strategy will allow you and your students to know immediately what content needs more practice?
- Which of these graphic organizers could enhance your students' ability to comprehend the content more clearly?
- Which student success skills will you add to your course to help your students learn better and save you time grading?
To access the activities click here:
Step Four: Instructional Peer Assessment
Teaching is the process of Planning, Implementing and Assessing not only student learning but ourselves. Through this model you had an opportunity to make intentional choices about creating a trusting, equitable learning environment in which all students would have an opportunity to learn and make connections with the content and each other. As a result of these intentional choices the opportunity gap is closed. You will see that the concepts from the Intentional Teaching Practices model parallel the Evaluation rubric.
The two rubrics linked below can be used by a peer visiting your class to visibly assess your learning environment and your instructional practices. This can be a formal or an informal observation. Either way the intent is for anyone to be able to sit in your class and identify what they see in your classroom environment and your instructional practices.
We encourage you to use these same rubrics to guide your decisions about choosing your instructional goals(s) for the following semester. Refer back to the first three steps in this model for information and ideas on how to reach your teaching goals.
Take a look at the rubrics and contact CETL if you would like more information on how to use these rubrics or any of the information in the Intentional Teaching Practices model.