Domain Overview

Key Domain - Intentional Planning

Intentional planning occurs when educators identify what students must learn in the curriculum, design meaningful learning experiences related to outcomes and reflect on the achievement of the outcomes to inform future instructional design. Consideration of the students, their learning goals and how best to meet their learning needs, in and beyond the classroom, are critical to the planning process.

Connection to Dimension of Quality Teaching

  1. Teacher as Designer
  2. Teacher as Expert in Pedagogical Knowledge

Professional Focus

  • Teacher Knowledge of Curriculum and Subject Area - Teacher planning intentionally integrates content, knowledge and skills (Tomlinson & Imbeau, 2010) as outlined in Program of Studies.  The cyclical planning process requires an understanding of subject disciplines to make connections with the complexities of the real-world (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2006; Chen & Hong, 2016)
  • Planning Reflective of Students - Planning requires a deep awareness of how students learn, their interests, and potential areas for growth that guides targeted approaches to teaching and learning (Robinson, 2011; Marzano 2009).  Educators make meaningful connections for students to engage in the learning process.
  • Design of Relevant Learning Experiences - Educators design connections to real world opportunities and contextualize learning that is enhanced through intentional incorporation of technology (Benade, 2015; Roblek, Meško, & Krapež, 2016).  Through varied learning experiences, educators integrate learning across disciplines and ensure multiple instructional pathways exist to engage learners.
  • Thoughtful Classroom Design - Educators design flexible and functional learning spaces that reflect the purpose(s) of learning as well as the consideration of how students learn (Barrett, Zhang, Davies & Barrett, 2015; Robinson, 2011).  The classroom environment intentionally supports the diverse needs of students and is inclusive of all learners.

Reflective Questions


  • How are the big ideas inherent in the Program of Studies addressed in the design of learning for students?
  • How are the learning needs and interests of individual students addressed in the design of learning for students?
  • Is the learning we’ve planned relevant for students and have we planned multiple ways for the students to acquire the content, knowledge, and skills?
  • How does the design of the classroom support or interfere with the intended learning, as well as the way students learn best?


Barrett, P.S., Zhang, Y., Davies, F., & Barrett, L.C. (2015). Clever classrooms: Summary report of the HEAD project.

University of Salford, Manchester.

Benade, L. (2015). Teachers’ Critical Reflective Practice in the Context of Twenty-first Century Learning. Open Review of Educational Research, 2(1), 42–54.

Chen, B., & Hong, H.-Y. (2016). Schools as Knowledge-Building Organizations: Thirty Years of Design Research. Educational Psychologist, 51(2), 266–288.

Marzano, R.J. (2009). Designing and teaching learning goals: Classroom strategies that work. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Robinson, V. (2011). Student-Centered Leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Roblek, V., Meško, M., & Krapež, A. (2016). A Complex View of Industry 4.0. SAGE Open, 6(2), 215824401665398.

Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2016). Knowledge Building. In The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (pp. 97–116).

Tomlinson, C. A., & Imbeau, M. B. (2010). Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom. ASCD.