What? Teachers begin their design work inside a Learning by Design framework – Learning Element – by identifying the Learning Focus of their design – this means the teacher is asked to identify the:
- knowledge domain or subject which will be studied (e.g. English and literacy);
- scope of learning or topic (e.g. In this Learning Element students explore the visual and linguistic features of the picture book ‘Zoo’ by Anthony Browne to develop their literacy and thinking skills. );
- learning level or year level (e.g. Year 6);
- prior knowledge of students or what they already know (e.g. Students would have some prior experience of visiting, reading or watching something about zoos).
The Learning Focus represents a brief overview of the Learning Element, the context in which it will be taught and what students already know. This awareness or understanding of what students already know can be significantly supplemented via the design of learning activities using the Knowledge Process of Experiencing the known.
Why? Identifying a Learning Focus in this structured way encourages teachers to be succinct and clear about their plan and its primary focus.