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About P-12 Instruction in New York State

Instruction is the process, approach, and methods used to both teach and to promote learning.  

Instruction can be divided into two closely-related concepts:

  • Instructional design, or the systematic process of planning learning experiences and developing or choosing materials to help students meet specific learning goals.  Educators use their training and expertise to map and design curricula; develop courses, units, and lessons; and design the format and structure of the learning environment in both physical and virtual spaces to support all students in achieving expected outcomes.
  • Instructional practice, which includes the activities and strategies that teachers use on a day-to-day basis to support students and facilitate understanding.  Instructional practices refer to the variety of teaching techniques that teachers use to engage students in learning; uplift and respect cultural diversity; personalize learning to individual students; help students build upon prior learning and connect to new concepts; provide meaningful, timely feedback; promote deep learning; and support students in developing essential skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and communication.

The New York State Education Department is committed to supporting districts and schools as they implement high-quality, culturally responsive, student-centered instruction.  

All curriculum and instructional decisions are made at the local level. Districts and schools choose and/or develop instruction to meet the individual needs of their students, and to support all students in gaining the skills and knowledge articulated in the NYS Learning Standards.