Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The SHEG Model of Lesson Plan, Part I

I'd like to spend some time thinking about an SHEG lesson, considering what it includes and excludes, as well as how its structure compares to the way I was taught to lesson plan (pdf).

No Stated Learning Objectives
As I've pointed out in some of my tweets, I think it is significant that the authors do not include a list of learning objectives. This stands out to me because it is contrary to the model of lesson planning that I was taught, and I am sure many of you were also, when taking education classes (pdf). I accept that there is more than one way to lesson plan, though I have rarely observed models that do not include learning objectives.

In fact, a style of lesson planning that purposely excludes defining learning objectives is, in my opinion, quite provocative and sending a clear and powerful message about one of its prime assumptions about teaching and learning.

The assumption that I detect is that it is not necessary for a teacher to state in precise language measurable statements about what a student will, and by implication, will not learn in a lesson. It is enough to base your lesson on a quality process and some meaningful content.

The SHEG model's quality process is, at its core, a genuine commitment to having students close read primary and secondary source excerpts and construct written responses to open ended questions about these sources. The responses are often brief, a paragraph or two, and must contain evidence extracted from the sources. This is a process that is elegantly simple and focused on historical thinking skills.

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