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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Pedagogical reasoning: creating pedagogically powerful lessons and units
I sometimes frame teaching as involving a combination of tasks and behaviours
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)
Poor tasks can be any or all of:? tasks and behaviours
-Concept mapping (procedure A1)
-Unjumbling notes (procedure D9)
-What have I learnt (procedure D12)
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.
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
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?
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.
For me, PR is the thinking (sometimes hidden) that teachers engage in as they plan for what they regard as successful learning and teaching
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:
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.
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
before one resorts to learning by listening (although sometimes a clear drawing together is needed)
Every lesson needs a coherent story line –how will you develop your 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?
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)
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.
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
English film as text: Decisions about what goes into a frame/shot and how that frame is organized are deliberate and intentional
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
Students create a concept map or mind map of the big ideas applications of a big idea.
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
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’
What is student engagement?
It is certainly important that students are on task and achieving this involves some basic, but essential teaching skills:
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
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