4. Content Knowledge: The teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to impact student learning.
Program standard 4 discusses how proficient and effective teachers rely on a combination of content knowledge, the state mandated standards, pedagogy, and other resources in order to create lesson plans that benefit student learning. In EDU6150 General Inquiry, Teaching, and Assessment Methods, I learned about a variety of teaching methods and instructional design. One of the approaches to design that I learned about is outlined in Understanding by Design (Wiggins et al, 2005). Wiggins et al (2005) propose a backward design approach to creating lesson plans, which means that teachers should start with the desired end goal, typically the standard, and design instruction that supports students meeting that goal. Another article suggested that teachers should present new material slowly and allow students to practice after each new step (Rosenshine, 2012). By using the principles proposed by Wiggins et al (2005) and Rosenshine (2012), teachers can design lessons that effectively address the desired outcome, as well as allowing for increased student learning.
During this course, I created a lesson plan based on the knowledge gained from Wiggins et al (2005) and Rosenshine (2012). I utilized the principles of backward design in order to create a more structured lesson. Figure 1 shows the beginning of the lesson plan, including the content standard addressed, the central focus, and the learning targets, which were derived from the standards. By determining the standard I wanted to address and creating learning targets, I was able to design a lesson to meet these specific learning targets and standards. In Figure 2, there is instruction, followed by a practice activity for students. This aligns with the principle stated by Rosenshine (2012), in which material is presented and allows for students to practice. This lesson incorporates direct instruction throughout the lesson, and a variety of activities that supports students
practicing the new material. By using a variety of resources, such as the articles presented by Rosenshine and Wiggins et al, lesson design will be purposeful, standards-based, and will positively impact student learning.
Designing this lesson was an invaluable experience. It was helpful to draw on the various techniques presented by Rosenshine and Wiggins et al, as well as submitting the lesson plan and receiving feedback from the instructors. This allowed me to recognize my strengths and areas for improvement in designing lessons. One area for improvement is integrating student voice throughout the lesson. Additionally, I feel that I can work on differentiated instruction for students who are talented and gifted, as well as students who require additional support. Through using appropriate pedagogy, drawing on knowledge, and considering the standards, I will be able to design effective lessons to positively impact student learning.
Rosenshine, B. (2012). Principles of instruction: research-based strategies that all teachers should know. Retrieved from: bbweb03.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-1072896-dt-content-rid-2260428_1/courses/XLST_A6_201560/Rosenshine 2012.pdf
Wiggins et al. (2005). Understanding by design. Retrieved from: bbweb03.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-1072896-dt-content-rid-2260429_1/courses/XLST_A6_201560/Understanding by Design Chapter 1.pdf