Promoting Instructional Coherence


PIC Logo Many teachers constantly make instructional decisions based on their immediate needs to comply, survive, conform, or meet time constraints. During the Regional Educational Laboratory contract for FY1996—2000, SEDL’s Promoting Instructional Coherence (PIC) project assisted educators in examining, understanding, and implementing coherent approaches to teaching and learning that, in turn, resulted in increased student learning. PIC investigated the challenges teachers face in constructing a coherent approach to teaching and learning, and created and disseminated resources to assist educators in addressing these challenges in their practice.

Field-based research

SEDL worked with study groups of teachers in five schools (one per state in the region) for approximately one year. SEDL staff documented teacher concerns in the five study groups as staff examined connections between curriculum, instruction, assessment, and a professional vision of teaching. Their discussions tended to center on tensions involving the: responsibility for student learning, including authority and agency; professional culture, including professionalism; and focus on learning, including sources of knowledge and instructional approach.

SEDL products

SEDL developed A Flashlight and a Compass: A Collection of Tools to Promote Instructional Coherence based on work with the five study groups. This collection creates consistency in the way students are taught and assessed through:

  • A series of papers describing the reform context in each state—The Progress of Reform in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas—and across the nation—The Changing Role of the Teacher
  • Products to inspire and guide teachers, including the paper, “ Restoring Meaning to Teaching” and two videos, “Restoring Meaning to Teaching” and “Promoting Teacher Inquiry: A Study Group Approach.”
  • A report describing SEDL’s work with the original study groups, “Understanding Teachers’ Perspectives on Teaching and Learning,” and the professional development cadre, Promoting Instructional Coherence research report.
Promoting Instructional Coherence Annotated Bibliography
This online source contains the abstracts of more than 180 written and online resources that provide both theoretical and practical information on the following topics:
  • change practice
  • educational research
  • instructional practice
  • learning theory
  • school reform
  • teacher learning

The listings can be sorted by any of these topics, by author or by key word.