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EDF 5807 Week 2 lecture. P edagogical reasoning: creating pedagogically powerful lessons and units. Good planning matters. Teaching is complex and multi-faceted, careful thinking about what you want and why and what you will do and why enormously increases the likelihood of rewarding lessons

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edf 5807 week 2 lecture

EDF 5807 Week 2 lecture

Pedagogical reasoning: creating pedagogically powerful lessons and units

good planning matters
Good planning matters
  • Teaching is complex and multi-faceted, careful thinking about what you want and why and what you will do and why enormously increases the likelihood of rewarding lessons
  • Teaching is a bit like hitting a golf ball, the lesson can be seriously degraded by just one component being flawed

Beginning teachers need to me much more explicit in their planning than you will after 5 years

  • I still wrote lesson plans in my 23rd year of school teaching
big idea
Big idea

The types of tasks you set determine the types and quality of learning you get (e.g the note taking tasks you read last week)

tasks generic teaching procedures
Tasks: Generic teaching procedures
  • Last week you read about :

-Concept mapping (procedure A1)

-Unjumbling notes (procedure D9)

-What have I learnt (procedure D12)

  • Generic descriptions of teaching procedures allow them to be used in many subjects/topics, so part of your planning can involve creating topic specific activities from a generic description
  • So look to build a repertoire of teaching procedures that you draw on
  • Remember that the second time you use a procedure it will go better
teaching behaviours
Teaching behaviours
  • By this I include how you communicate and interact with students, how you respond to their questions and responses.
  • Some positive teaching behaviours encountered so far:-delaying judgement (the maths role play in lecture 1,)-being flexible, seizing a teachable moment (Pythagoras patterns)-stepping back and letting students work it out (Phillips)-asking open questions (Phillips)-using increased wait time (my journey)
some poor teacher behaviours
Some poor teacher behaviours
  • Guess What’s In the Teacher’s Mind (GWITM), (the Too Kill a Mockingbird role play in lecture 1
  • Others?
one key teacher behaviour teacher questioning
One key teacher behaviour -teacher questioning
  • This will be the focus of one of the mini lessons to be filmed this week
direct and dialogic instruction and learning
Direct and Dialogic instruction and learning
  • “Direct instruction” is sometimes framed as being necessarily associated with poor learning and poor teaching –as an alternate and conflicting strategy to say “facilitating quality learning”. This is simplistic. There are many occasions where the teacher needs to introduce or elaborate on new or previously introduced ideas, a key question is how responsive is this ‘telling’ to where the students are. Often the telling is part of a responsive dialogue –hence the phrase ‘dialogic instruction.’
  • Certainly there are occasions where direct instruction is not the best way to achieve quality and can lead to question response sequences where the students engage in GWITM. Guess What’s In the Teacher’s Mind.
dialogic instruction
Dialogic instruction
  • Learning involving dialogue -“dialogic communities;” where members of the community listen and respond to what they heard –“dialogic responsivity.”
  • Perhaps the most valuable position for the teacher’s contribution is the “follow –up” move after other participants have made their contribution (Wells)
  • This could be to respond to questions raised or to consolidate, summarize and review a body of work, validate what has been found, either to wind up a topic or to provide a platform for the next stage.
  • It is also true that a teacher may use extended talk to introduce and provide an overview of a new area, generating a need to know, highlighting and linking the major features, providing background.
b ig ideas
Big ideas

One definition of a big idea

a unifying principle that connects and organises a number of smaller ideas and multiple experiences

It needs to be something that would be important in several lessons, not just a tricky piece of content that you spent a lesson on -it needs to have a strong linking value.

good explanations provide constant scaffolding
Good explanations provide constant scaffolding
  • set the scene; show where this fits in
  • present, emphasize ,repeat and rephrase the big ideas
  • linking statements: provide connections to and reminders of past events/statements/examples
  • provide new examples (a different type of linking)
  • explore/set boundaries to where or how an idea is useful or applicable
  • include moving statements (from issue A to issue B)
  • include summary statement
peel principle 10
PEEL Principle 10

Develop students’ awareness of the big picture –how the various activities fit together and link to the big ideas-why you are doing what you are doing today

teach the gold rush
“Teach the gold rush “

A student teacher was told to teach the gold rush. She was not very interested in it, how could she interest the students? How would she get into the topic? Why should they study this? Which aspects should she include?

pedagogical reasoning
Pedagogical reasoning

Shulman (1987) considered what might constitute the types of professional knowledge required by teachers. he defined pedagogical reasoning as the process of [teachers] transforming subject matter knowledge into forms that are pedagogically powerful.

your educational beliefs and values are crucial
Your educational beliefs and values are crucial

For me, PR is the thinking (sometimes hidden) that teachers engage in as they plan for what they regard as successful learning and teaching

my current thinking
My current thinking

The apparently seamless artistry of highly skilled teachers flows from highly integrated reasoning – in other words they are thinking about a number of issues at once as well as how these interact with each other. Recent work with a group of experienced teachers revealed that the PR of these teachers involved a constant interaction between (at least) four foci:

  • The key ideas and skills they are intending to teach and how best to represent these for their students
  • The nature of quality learning and how to achieve it
  • What is and is not likely to be engaging for students generally and for the specific students they are planning to teach
  • The constraints and opportunities provided by their teaching context
laura and the gold rush
Laura and the gold rush

She used the construct of big ideas to decide what she though was important about the gold rush for her students. She decided to use:

Legacy -The way in which history impacts on contemporary society


Key ideas have a crucial role in planning, in deciding what is important to include and why, what can be omitted as well as selecting and sequencing activities

Big ideas provide the teacher with a more coherent approach here as well as foci for introduction and follow up and structuring exactly what the students will do.

What are your intended learning outcomes/objectives where do you want to go with your big ideas/key skills?
  • Maybe just open up an issue
  • Build understandings of the idea
  • Build proficiency in a skill
  • Show where this appears in daily life
  • And more
how do you intend students will construct understandings alternatives to listening
How do you intend students will construct understandings -Alternatives to listening

For reasons of variety, interest, promotion of intellectual independence, catering for individual differences and promoting active processing/thinking, one always looks for opportunities for students to

  • research,
  • induce,
  • deduce,
  • discover,
  • experience,
  • develop from discussion,
  • practice,
  • read and process

before one resorts to learning by listening (although sometimes a clear drawing together is needed)

a very poor flow of big ideas
A very poor flow of big ideas

Teacher: Yes, north. And the point at which the magnet appears to be – at the top there, just underneath the ground – what’s the name of that point there?

Student 3: Magnetic north.

Teacher: Magnetic north. If I was standing on the top of the magnetic north with a compass, what would it do?

Student 4: It would go round and round and round.

Teacher: It wouldn’t point in any direction at all. Supposing if I was standing at the geographic north, what would it do there?

Student 5: Point to the magnetic north.

Teacher: Right, what was the name of this angle between the magnetic and the geographical north? Yes, Gary?

Student 6: Angle of declination.

Teacher: Angle of declination. Right, there’s a difficult one. Now, I’ve put a spot there- that’s supposed to represent the magnetic north- and the geographic north is the point at which it spins around about. Now if I come down that line there to a point there, can anyone tell me what the angle of declination is going to be? Yes, Bill?

big ideas provide teachers with frameworks for more successful teaching explanations
Big Ideas provide teachers with frameworks for more successful teaching/explanations

One way of doing this is to link and organize related bits of content and different activities that otherwise are likely to be seen as unconnected.

History allows us to understand the present. You can drill down from a current issues into its historical causes and find patterns in these that help us understand the present

allowed the teacher to connect a range of (very) current events to past religious conflicts

Note that this is not a big idea about the content, it is a big idea about the domain (history)

providing purposes for activiti es
Providing purposes for activities

Big ideas: The history of the Earth has occurred over an immense time scale. This scale is so far outside our experiences that it is very hard to conceive.

This provides a purpose for an activity where the history of the earth is mapped onto, say a trotting horse doing one lap where the dinosaurs appear with 40m to go and all of recorded history in the last 2 mm.

provide reasons for tools of the domain and hence equip students to use them better
Provide reasons for tools of the domain and hence equip students to use them better

Writing: the role of punctuation marks is to separate ideas

Lyrical Literacy: The reason we apply musical elements such as dynamics, tone and timbre to music in different ways creates different effects and in turn can conjure affects or emotive reactions in people

provide a template where students can perceive progress
Provide a template where students can perceive progress

English film as text: Decisions about what goes into a frame/shot and how that frame is organized are deliberate and intentional

students bring in relevant real life examples or applications of a big idea
Students bring in relevant real life examples or applications of a big idea.

During the Gold Rush unit (as one example of Legacy) students saw the Eureka flag at a trade union rally and brought this into the class. Laura was building a sense of shared intellectual control

the students talk in terms of the big ideas
The students talk in terms of the big ideas

When the teacher asks students why are we doing this (prebrief) or why did we do this, (debrief) the students talk in terms of big ideas and how the activity connected to these

a second focus of pedagogical reasoning promoting quality learning
A second focus of pedagogical reasoning: promoting quality learning

The teachers have a repertoire of teaching approaches that promote different aspects of quality learning and they use these purposefully against a well developed strategic learning agenda: some e.g.s

-students reflecting on what they learnt or how they learnt

-promoting ‘good’ student questions

-students reacting to and using other students’ ideas

-students taking some responsibility for getting ‘unstuck’

three sorts of engagemen t
Three sorts of engagement
  • Behavioural engagement – are students on task?
  • Affective engagement – are they interested in and enjoying what they are doing?
  • Cognitive engagement – are they processing and thinking deeply about what they are doing, hearing and reading
behavioural engagement
Behavioural engagement

It is certainly important that students are on task and achieving this involves some basic, but essential teaching skills:

  • building a classroom environment that is not heavily dependent on the power route for gaining compliance and
  • ensuring students are clear on what is required are two.
affective engagement
Affective engagement
  • Building “need to know” will be the focus of one of the mini lessons filmed this week
  • Tap into where your students are
cognitive engagement
Cognitive engagement

To be cognitively engaged is to be engaged in quality learning, Bloom, Mitchell’s aspects of quality learning and deep v surface processing all provide scaffolds for planning tasks that do this and for interpreting what Students say and do

feedback communication
  • It is essential that you have ways of monitoring whether students are cognitively engaged and what understandings they are constructing
  • Pedagogical reasoning is active during lessons as well as before lessons as teachers respond to what they perceive is going on
focus 4 contextual constraints and opportunities
Focus 4; Contextual constraints and opportunities

Teachers teach specific classes in specific contexts and the nature of the students and the contexts can have important influences on the teachers’ PR

Teachers often use local resources (such as beach coastlines) to significantly shape what and how they would teach

lesson plan template
Lesson plan template
  • This is for the micro teach –your methods will advise you on their requirements for lesson planning
  • But you must have lesson plans for every lesson you teach
  • Lesson plans document your pedagogical reasoning –it is your thinking that matters
  • They provide you with crucial support during lessons
  • But good teachers will depart from their plan to capitalise on unexpected events