Big Picture Road Map

Good teaching and learning is multi-layered.  It all starts behind the scene with planning.  Planning your curriculum is the first step to becoming a great teacher.

This graphic highlights a way to view overall curriculum planning.  Curriculum is a term that has multiple meanings.  For our purposes we will use the definition “curriculum refers to the means and materials with which students will interact for the purpose of achieving identified educational outcomes” (Ebert, E.S., Ebert, C., & Bentley, M.L., 2013).  If we embrace this definition then it would serve us well to start planning with at the broadest level possible.  If you have influence on the overall plant breeding program at your institution you can start there.  If your influence extends only to the course you teach then the course or lesson plan level is appropriate. 

No matter where you begin it is helpful to think about the philosophy you have about teaching and learning.  This is so you can uncover the beliefs that drive how you think about what and how students learn, and how and you will teach.    It is also helpful to be open to what researchers tell us about learning and what practices are getting results.  And of course viewing your classroom as an active experiment where you are assessing and evaluating not only students, but your own effectiveness is an important on-going process for any educator.