Identifying what learners need to know, do and understand as


Identifying what learners need to know, do and understand as described through the achievement standards

To teach all students according to today’s standards, teachers need to understand subject matter deeply and flexibly so they can help students create useful cognitive maps, relate one idea to another, and address misconceptions. Teachers need to see how ideas connect across fields and to everyday life. This kind of understanding provides a foundation for pedagogical content knowledge that enables teachers to make ideas accessible to others.

(Shulman, 1987).

Achievement standards depict the quality of learning to which students are entitled through theknowledge, depth of understanding and sophistication of skills described. In clarifying the learning to be achieved by students and in planning for such learning, identifying the verbs and nouns within an achievement standard foregrounds what students are required to know and do, and the tools and strategies to be used. The learning described in an achievement standard occurs within a progressive continuum of learning. When teachers understand the concepts they are teaching within the context of the understanding which precedes a year level and that which follows, they are more able to support learners and differentiate learning within their year level.



Identify and discuss the knowledge, depth of understanding and sophistication of skills within an achievement standard, and within the standard below and above.

Identify the progression of learning across three consecutive levels of achievement standards.

Develop fluency with the knowledge, skills and understanding, intended within an achievement standard (and identify any knowledge, skills and understanding which require clarification).



Achievement standard

‘X’ along with the standard above and below

Verbs and nouns record sheet



Work with a partner.

Identify, discuss and list the verbs in each of the achievement standards.

Identify, discuss and list the nouns/noun phrases in each of the achievement standards.

Connect the verbs with their corresponding nouns/noun phrases within each achievement standard.

Identify the growth and progression of knowledge, skills and understanding across the three achievement levels.

This process may also be useful when engaging with the achievement standards to design learning and teaching. The achievement standards, content descriptions, general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities, along with the SA Teaching for Effective Learning framework, together provide a rich picture of curriculum and pedagogy with which to work in the process of designing for learning and teaching.