Research supports two types of learners: experts and novices. The goal is help students move from novice level to expert level. At the expert level, a student has learned how to structurally organize and then connect important concepts. In other words, expert learners have the ability to network connecting items.
Teachers can help their students move from novice to expret by utilizing strategies such as scaffolding. It is important that teachers recognize the imporance of teaching basic concepts with depth as some researchers call "deep learning".
Administrators as instructional leaders can help teachers develop benchmarks and pacing guides.