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Madeline Hunter astutely observed,
“…teaching can be defined as a constant stream of professional decisions made before, during, and after interactions with students; decisions which, when implemented, increase the probability of learning…
Consequently, it is important for teachers to consciously and deliberately identify the decisions they must make in each category and base their decisions on research-validated knowledge.”
Therefore, it is critical for teachers to deliberately make the decisions that will increase students’ probability of learning and overall motivation.
One of the most effective decisions you can make is to use a focused Learning Model that guides and focuses your lesson planning and delivery. Elevated Achievement’s Learning Model is driven by the learner and answers the question—What does a learner need to know in order to better own his learning? This model is the most effective device you can use to focus your lessons, thereby increasing your students’ motivation and opportunities to own their learning.
In our previous article, we provided an overview of the Learning Model and its five student-centered phases: setting the Learning Context, stating the Learning Outcome, engaging in the Learning Process, producing the Learning Demonstration, and implementing the Learning Application. In this article and subsequent articles, we will discuss the sequence of planning a focused lesson and take an in-depth look at each of the five phases that lead to increased ownership and elevated achievement.
The Sequence of Planning
Remember, teaching is a constant stream of decisions made before, during, and after interactions with students. Therefore, the purpose of delineating this planning sequence for a focused Learning Model is to support a teacher to reflect on their own decision-making as they decide what they and their students need to know for each lesson.
When planning a lesson, the teacher must take into consideration both the design and delivery of the lesson. However, the sequence for designing a lesson is different from delivering a lesson.
In order to most effectively and efficiently backwards design a lesson, the following decision-making sequence is recommended:
- Determine the Learning Context and the Learning Application
- Determine the Learning Outcome and the Learning Demonstration
- Determine the Learning Process
In other words, first determine why students are learning this skill right now and how they will use it in the future. Next, determine the specific skills they are learning and what a demonstration of mastery will look and sound like. Finally, determine the instructional strategy or strategies that will allow for students to most effectively and efficiently demonstrate mastery.
This clarity of decision-making will allow your students to understand their role in their own learning. That is, if you let them in on your decision-making. Thus, throughout the lesson, share with your students your plan and help them to answer the following questions:
- Why am I learning this?
- What will I learn?
- How will I learn this?
- How will I show that I have learned it?
- How will I continue to use what I learned?
Then forward instruct through the lesson with the end in mind.
What’s Next in Learnership?
As we’ve said before, developing ownership of learning, aka learnership, is the life skill our children need to be successful in the future. That’s why the next few articles will take in-depth looks at each of the five phases of the Learning Model that develops learnership, their value to students, and their value to teachers. In each article we will provide you with the planning questions and tools you need to implement focused Learning Models for each and every lesson. So, watch this space for the next few weeks. We’ll be back with more resources for you and your students.
The Learning Brief
In this article you learned…
- Teaching is a constant stream of decisions made before, during, and after interactions with students and it is critical for teachers to deliberately make the decisions that will increase students’ probability of learning.
- The purpose of a focused Learning Model is to support a teacher to reflect on their own decision-making as they decide what they and their students need to know for each lesson, thereby increasing students’ probability of learning and motivation.
- Teachers utilizing a Learning Model will be supporting their students in knowing what they are learning, why they are learning it, how they will learn it, how they will show they have learned it, and how they will continue to use what they learned.
Can you imagine building an environment full of motivated, engaged, and eager students who own their learning?