Learning is said to often occur haphazardly and randomly within the brain, but instruction should be anything but haphazard. Excellence in the classroom requires knowing when to use certain strategies, why to use them, and what to do next to achieve maximum learning potential from students. Mastering instructional accountability requires refocusing one's attention on practices that intentionally provide students with conditions that enhance the opportunity for learning. Great instruction is both an art and a science. 



Patterning and Connections


Patterning is the process of organizing information into meaningful and useful patterns. These patterns are then used as a means of understanding, processing, or memorizing large amounts of information. Pattern development utilizes the concept of linking new content and knowledge to previously held knowledge or perceptions. Patterning also seeks to categorize information in a way that goes from simple to complex, from general to specific, or to develop relationships between the various pieces of information or concepts. 



Science -  something that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge

The brain as a self-organizer has been evidenced through neuroscientific studies that have shown that information is stored and organized in the brain according to recognizable patterns. Additionally, learning, or long term memory, are enhanced when new concepts are linked to previously learned material. The instructional goal then becomes to organize information in a useable manner and then to link it to knowledge already held by the learner. 


Art - skill acquired by experience, study, or observation

Instructional strategies that purposefully assist with developing a means of organizing information and/or developing methods and steps to master problem solving involve the use of patterns. Helping learners organize information can be accomplished through the use of concept maps, descriptive patterns, process/cause patterns, as well as instructional strategies such Advance Organizers, Attaining Concepts, Memorization, and Thinking Inductively. Patterning also serves to help students connect new information to previously held knowledge. Before beginning a new chapter or unit, explore your students' prior knowledge and find ways to help them connect new concepts to what they already know. 


David Ausubel: Advance Organizers
Jerome Bruner: Concept Attainment
Hilda Taba: Inductive Thinking
  Analyzing, categorizing, comparing, differentiation, grouping, identifying, interpreting, listing, labeling, organizing, sequencing


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