April 1, 2020
An instructional vision articulates what teaching and learning should look like in a particular content area. While standards name the specifics of what students should know and be able to do and the instructional shifts within the standards describe the types of instruction the standards call for, an instructional vision is a district’s articulation of what students should experience daily and the overall goals for student learning. Having a clear vision for instruction will guide the adoption process and serve as a critical lens through which all potential materials are viewed.
The real-life examples provided here show how some districts articulate their vision for instruction for specific content areas (ELA, math, and science). The examples range from high level to more specific. Notice how the vision statements are focused on what students are experiencing. This frame allows educators to direct all instructional resources toward a common goal.
Use these examples as you develop your own instructional vision before you begin your search for new materials. Gather ideas from various stakeholders within the district to ensure your vision of instruction represents priorities across your system. Once you have a draft statement, take time to socialize the statement with stakeholders to gather feedback and develop a final draft. Note that your vision may shift a little every year as your educators learn more about students and the subject, and revisiting and confirming instructional visions is in itself a powerful activity.