An advance organizer is an introduction or table of contents to a course. It can also refer to an abstract, a general overview, preliminary instructions, topics to be covered, course outline, or a study plan. Philosophers have long used the Greek term propaedeutic (pre-pedagogical or preteaching comments) for this concept, but educator David Ausubel came up with "advance organizer" in 1963, and it has remained a stock term in certain instructional design circles ever since. Note that the concept of an introductory overview represents the first of Herbart's standard four-step process for building any course.
David Ausubel: Psychology of Meaningful Verbal Learning
See also Herbart