Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lesson Plans

Each week in ASE 2 I'm assisting Gordon with a portion of the class. He lets me look at the lesson plan and choose which bits I want to teach. Last week I decided to run an activity, and this week I'm doing something similar-- providing a brief introduction to the activity, letting the students have a go at it, monitoring them and periodically giving feedback, then at the end regrouping and facilitating discussion about the activity.

I've chosen this sort of thing, twice now, because it's easy. I don't have to teach material, don't have to bring any kind of expertise to the class-- I just have to keep things going.

Class time in ASE 2 is difficult to control. This is by design-- the most important goal of the class is for the students to reflect on their own teaching, to support and advise one another. And so we let that go for as long as it will go. The lesson plan, then, isn't much more than a list of suggestions. Huge chunks get thrown out the window each week.

Gordon wrote the plans, and he knows the course content well, so he has a good sense of what bits are essential and what bits can be tossed wholesale in favor of extemporaneous interaction. I don't yet have that feel, that ability to prioritize lesson plans in the same sense. So I think that's why I've chosen to be in charge of the group activities-- they have a clear beginning, middle, and end. They're like little classes inside of the class; they're discrete chunks and thus easily manageable.


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