Instructional Framework for Effective Learning
In any school it is important to have a structure or framework which everyone uses to design their curriculum, organize their instruction, communicate with others regarding student assessment and performance, and to align to the state and district standards. The selection of a particular structure or framework is guided by:
- External factors such as state and local education standards, mandated curriculum, adopted textbooks
- Internal factors such as the goals and mission of the organization, the population served, and the professionals who deliver the instruction.
The Bridge School shares a location with North Elementary School in the Hillsborough City School District, however, we serve children from the entire San Francisco Bay area. According to state guidelines, our curriculum is aligned with the district in which we are physically located. Our students are included in the North School classes and have access to the same textbooks or modifications of texts used in those classes in addition to the instructional materials generated by the professional staff at Bridge.
The mission of The Bridge School is to ensure that individuals with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities through the use of augmentative & alternative means of communication (AAC) and assistive technology (AT) applications and through the development, implementation and dissemination of innovative life-long educational strategies. Realizing this mission with the Bridge School student population requires a systematic, consistent, developmentally sound approach to education and communication. This often involves making significant modifications and adaptations to materials, content and instruction to ensure student participation and success. These modifications and adaptations are made without compromising the integrity of the curriculum. The staff at The Bridge School work as transdisciplinary teams to deliver communication and academic instruction. This transdisciplinary approach exacerbates the need for a strong structure and framework to ensure effective assessment, consistent instruction, and clear communication among team members and families.
One important component in the framework is the implementation of specific guidelines for delivering instruction to promote effective learning. While there are numerous perspectives on instructional design, all encompass the same basic elements of instruction. We have chosen Robert Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction to provide a framework for educational interactions with our students. Each lesson is designed to incorporate these events as appropriate. The lesson plans on our Web site include examples of how our staff implement the Nine Events of Instruction in their teaching.