Instructional Management

Educational psychologists focus much attention on identifying what successful teachers do to promote student learning. By analyzing the classroom
behavior of effective teachers, researchers have identified certain regularly occurring patterns of teacher behavior. These patterns of expert practice are evident regardless of whether the subject is reading, science, social studies, math, art, or any other subject.

Successful teachers demonstrate a pattern of expert practice that we will refer to as instructional management. This includes two broad components of teaching skill: (1) expertise in planning for instruction and (2) expertise in delivering instruction. Before teaching a lesson, successful teachers make important planning decisions about their goals and objectives. These goals and objectives give learners a purpose or reason for the activities they were pursuing. They also made it easier to gauge the learners’ progress. Finally, successful teachers and their learners are able to achieve their goals and objectives because of expert patterns of practice in delivering instruction.

As you will learn in this chapter, the effective delivery of instruction includes four general categories of teaching skills: (1) structuring, (2) modeling, (3) coaching, and (4) fading. One of the goals as a beginning teacher will be to build successful patterns of practice in the classroom. These will involve the learning climate created, the classroom management procedures established, the goals and objectives selected, and the teaching
activities of structuring, modeling, coaching, and fading employed to achieve a positive impact on your learners.

By carefully studying this chapter and observing patterns of expert practice during your field placements and student teaching, you will be able to build successful patterns of practice. When these activities become enriched with an understanding of learner assessment (to be discussed in the future modules), you will have acquired the patterns of expert practice of an effective teacher.