Writing Lesson Plans

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To be frank, writing lesson plans has never been high on my “Top 10” things to do. Before I started writing them, I thought they were easy to write but I discovered they aren’t.

Most recently, I’ve written plans as part of trying to describe a learners’ view (ALV) of learning lessons.

To do so, I needed to find ways to describe all the bits and pieces and goings-on that describe how learners see, hear, and in other ways use their physical senses to identify what teachers do during instruction of those lessons.

Lesson plans should never let a teacher or learner down.

So, I thought, no pressure. This can’t be hard. I’ve been doing this over decades. I’ve got shelves of books with lesson plans, a notebook of samples, key words, and results of a qualitative content analysis of research reports by experimental behavioral and social scientists over the past century.

Surely, these resources will guide me to quick, easy, short and sweet lesson plans that teachers will adopt in ways that all learners learn all lessons they instruct.

The trouble with writing lesson plans, according to conventional wisdom, is that you have no control of the responses students
in real life give to whatever you say or do.

A learners’ view challenges that convention by providing probabilities of responses to various parts and process during instruction.

The downside of writing these plans is that I need to have great lessons with lots of different and intriguing examples, illustrations, and manipulables readily available, each with its own probability of learners learning. (Note that I changed from writing about students to describing what learners are likely to do.)

Realistically, I know that classroom teachers don’t have time and other resources available to create such plans, if they are restricted to applying experimental research they don’t know.

So, how do I compensate for that resource deficit? Neither teachers nor I can just slip into a fantasy world where we just make our wished for plans, resources, and instruction result in all students learning what we instruct.

I’m still working out a more complete compensation package. How do you want this package to assist you to instruct lessons learners will likely learn? What should the package include and in what format?

 

 

 

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in The Encyclopedia of Education (1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for TuxReports.com.