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Cohort Facilitation Guide
Enhancing Content and Pedagogical Knowledge
8 hr stand-alone
This facilitation guide is designed for those leading cohort groups who are taking or have taken
Danielson PD modules through Pennsylvania’s PD Center. Please be encouraged to steer your cohort
group toward discussion that is most appropriate for your particular environment and needs.
In the table below, you will find guiding or essential questions related to the module content and
applications in the left-hand column, and potential discussion points in the right-hand column. The last
column of the table shares Pennsylvania-specific resources that might be of use or interest to the cohort
group. At the end of this guide, you will find the alignment(s) between Danielson’s Framework for
Teaching and this module as well as correlations to the Framework for Leadership, should any groups
wish to explore those connections further.
Guiding Questions
How can the knowledge of
content-specific resources
and pedagogy increase your
knowledge and
understanding of your
Possible/Guiding Responses
How can honing your
To teach is to first understand purposes, subject matter
structures, and ideas within and outside the discipline.
The key to distinguishing the knowledge base of teaching lies at
the intersection of content and pedagogy in the teacher’s capacity
to transform content knowledge into forms that are pedagogically
powerful and yet adaptive to the variety of student abilities and
Comprising a variety of teaching acts, instruction includes many of
the most crucial aspects of pedagogy: management,
presentations, interactions, group work, discipline, humor,
questioning, discovery, and inquiry instruction.
Teachers need to think about testing and evaluation as an
extension of instruction, not as separate from the instructional
process. The evaluation process includes checking for
understanding and misunderstanding during interactive teaching
as well as testing students’ understanding at the end of lessons or
units. It also involves evaluating one’s own performance and
adjusting for different circumstances.
Reflection is a process that includes reviewing, reconstructing,
reenacting, and critically analyzing one’s own teaching abilities
and then grouping these reflected explanations into evidence of
changes that need to be made to become a better teacher. This is
what a teacher does when he or she looks back at the teaching
and learning that has occurred to reconstruct, reenact, and
recapture the events, the emotions, and the accomplishments.
To help all students learn, teachers need to think about what it
teaching skills in your
content area improve your
teaching, your crosscurricular connections, and
student learning?
How can professional
development increase your
understanding of content
and pedagogy?
In what ways can you map
out your own growth plan
in order to maximize your
own teaching potential?
means to learn different kinds of material for different purposes
and how to decide which kinds of learning are most necessary in
different contexts.
Teachers must be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses
of different learners and must have the knowledge to work with
students who have specific learning disabilities or needs.
Teachers need to know about curriculum resources and
technologies to connect their students with sources of
information and knowledge that encourage them to explore
ideas, acquire and synthesize information, and frame and solve
Teachers need to know about collaboration: how to structure
interactions among students so that more powerful shared
learning can occur, how to collaborate with other teachers, and
how to work with parents to learn more about their children and
to shape supportive experiences at school and home.
Acquiring knowledge and developing a practice that is different
from what teachers themselves experienced as students requires
learning opportunities that are more powerful than simply
reading and talking about new pedagogical ideas.
Teachers learn best by studying, by doing and reflecting, by
collaborating with other teachers, by looking closely at students
and their work, and by sharing what they see.
Good settings for teacher learning–in both colleges and schools–
provide lots of opportunities for research and inquiry, for trying
and testing, and for talking about and evaluating the results of
learning and teaching. The combination of theory and practice
occurs most productively when questions arise in the context of
real students and work in progress and where research and
disciplined inquiry are also at hand.
When teachers investigate the effects of their teaching on
students’ learning and if they read about what others have
learned, they become aware of variation and of what works for
what purposes and in what situations. Training in inquiry also
helps teachers learn how to look at the world from multiple
perspectives and to use this knowledge to reach across disciplines
and with diverse learners.
Reflecting on current practice and seeking to improve upon it.
Exploring what PD opportunities exist and participating in those
that are appropriate.
Collaborating with team members for cross-curricular ideas and
also with peers who teach the same content.
Keeping current with PA Core Standards.
Beginning, continuing, and maintaining strategy sharing sessions.
*What forms of assessment
do you utilize to collect
data to determine the
Present Levels of
Educational and Functional
Performance of your
Offering and improving ongoing curriculum based assessment.
Creating a consistent assessment schedule to monitor student
*How do you set IEP goals
and/or determine short
term objectives that are
aligned with content state
standards and with your
student’s present
educational levels?
Having a knowledge of state and national curricular standards.
Applying standards when formulating annual and short term IEP
goals and objectives.
*How do you differentiate
and individualize instruction
to meet the specific needs
for your students?
Utilizing data from curriculum based assessments to develop
appropriate instruction to meet the student’s current level of
*What resources do you
use, beyond the curriculum
and teacher edition of a
Exploring outside resources such as the local newspaper or awardwinning literature.
Implementing appropriate use of technology and Internet
What PA-specific online
resources are available to
you that will enhance your
content and pedagogical
Intermediate Units
Pennsylvania Learning Forward
Pennsylvania Association for Curriculum Development
Primary alignment between Enhancing Content and Pedagogical Knowledge and the Framework for
 1a: Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
Correlations between Enhancing Content and Pedagogical Knowledge and the Framework for
 1c: Builds a Collaborative and Empowering Work Environment
 3b: Aligns Curricula, Instruction, and Assessment
 3c: Implements High Quality Instruction
3d: Sets High Expectations for All Students
4a: Maximizes Parent and Community Involvement and Outreach
4b: Shows Professionalism
4c: Supports Professional Growth
* Modified from Guiding Questions: Conversations Between Principals and Teachers © Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2013.