Rethink Lesson Planning

Here is a list of posts I have written on rethinking the conventional wisdom behind dispensing a hyper-prescribed, content-bloated curriculum via teacher driven direct instruction.

Formal & Traditional vs Progressive Education - The elements of "mainstream" education should not be built on the ability to sit passively during a lecture in order to regurgitate prefabricated facts on a worksheet.

Do Standards Subjugate Students - Old School is more interested in what teachers are supposed to teach than what the students are learning, and it is this premise that the Tougher Standards movement is built on.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Pablo Freire's landmark book Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a must read for all educators - especially those who are so heavily invested in the banking metaphor of learning.

Legacy of Traditional Education - for too long traditional school has defined learning as a passive activity.

Curriculum Prisons - Curriculum can be a guide or it can be a prison.

Covering Curriculum - The greatest enemy of understanding is coverage.

Negotiated, Integrated Curriculum - I see an integrated and negotiated curriculum to be at the heart of a democratic classroom that puts student engagement as a priority.

Prescription vs Construction - The teacher who plans without student input will be no more successful than a bride who plans her entire life without having a groom.

Here's all the boring shit you need to know... - The worst curriculums say: here's all the boring shit you need to know before you can ever do the cool stuff.

The shelf life of grading and the factory model - I know too many good teachers who feel they have to do bad things to kids out of necessity in the name of curriculum.

The Problem with infinity - The problem with infinity is that there is too much of it.

Teacher's Intent - Good teachers know that no curriculum survives first contact with the students.

No plan might be a good plan - Planning is guessing.

Spamming all-calls - The days of standardized swaths of lecturing where whole chunks of information is simply disseminated among the masses has come and gone.

Flirting rather than lecturing - The next time your planning a lesson, remember that role as a teacher is less about lecturing the curriculum but flirting with it - presenting it in such a way that you care less about what your students know and more about what questions you want them to ask.

Losing our way - Because most teachers have curriculums that are bloated with content, it can be a real challenge to maintain our focus.