Yale University

Knowledge of Instruction

Knowledge of instruction is a complex learning process. Part of learning about instruction is comparable to the acquisition of a new language. For example, our students learn the taxonomy developed by Anderson and Krathwohl (2001). This common language allows for clarification of meaning and for understanding the nature of learning from a more sophisticated perspective. Part of the learning is conceptual. For example, how a candidate thinks about design choices in many ways determines the shape of his/her teaching. Part of the learning is skill-based and can best be developed through opportunities to enact and reflect on instruction.

All candidates are required to incorporate content area literacy strategies into their instructional repertoire and to demonstrate literacy teaching skills in the classroom. No longer is it sufficient to locate literacy strategies solely within the English or Language Arts departments. Candidates have as part of their methods course an introduction to instructional strategies that facilitate literacy based on the recommendations of the Connecticut State Department of Education's 2007 publication, Beyond the Blueprint: Literacy in Grades 4-12 and Across the Content Areas.

Finally candidates are expected to integrate instructional design and classroom management. A stand-alone focus on classroom management is ineffective for the growth of a pre-service teacher. It is important that a candidate know how to structure learning experiences that create conditions for positive learning. Some instructional choices require more from students and thus there needs to be concurrent support in place.