Approaches of Planning


Approaches of Planning: Our educational practice is still based on limited ‘lesson plans’ aimed at achieving measurable ‘behaviours’; acc...

Approaches of Planning:

Our educational practice is still based on limited ‘lesson plans’ aimed at achieving measurable ‘behaviours’; according to this view, the child is akin to a creature that can be trained, or a computer that can be programmed. Hence, there is too much focus on ‘outcomes’, and presenting knowledge divided into bits of information to be memorised directly from the text or through activities after ‘motivating’ children, and finally on evaluating to see if children remember what they have learnt. Instead, we need to view the child as ‘constructing knowledge’ all the time. This is true not only of ‘cognitive subjects’ such as mathematics and science, language and social science, but equally of values, skills and attitudes.

This perspective on the learner may sound ‘obvious’, but, in fact, many teachers, evaluators, and textbook writers still lack the conviction that this can become a reality.
• The term ‘activity’ is now a part of the registerof most elementary schoolteachers, but in many cases this has just been grafted onto the ‘Herbartian’ lesson plan, still driven by ‘outcomes’ at the end of each lesson. There is now more talk of competencies, but these competencies are still pegged onto lessons much in the manner of ‘outcomes’. Instead, teachers need to develop the ability to plan ‘units’ of four or five sessions for each topic. The development of understanding and of competencies is also possible only through repeated opportunities to use the competencies in different situation, and in a variety of ways. While the development of knowledge, understanding and skills can be assessed both at the end of a unit, and revisited at a later date, the assessment cycle for competencies needs to be longer.
• Activities could enable teachers to give individualised attention to children, and to make alterations in a task depending on their requirements and variations in the level of interest. In fact, teachers could also consider involving children and older learners in planning the class work, such variety would bring tremendous richness to the classroom processes. It would also allow teachers to respond to the special needs of some children without making it seem as if it is an obvious exception. There is still not enough engagement on the part of the teacher with the learning ofeach child; children are treated en masse, and only those who are regarded as ‘stars’ or ‘problematic’ are noticed. All children would benefit from such attention.
• A lesson plan or unit plan for an inclusive class should indicate how the teacher alters the ongoing activity to meet the different needs of children. Failure to learn is currently being mechanically addressed through ‘remediation’, which usually means simply repeating lessons. Many teachers are also looking for ‘cures’ to set right the problems that some children may experience. They still find it difficult to individualise learning for children by building upon the strengths that children may have.
• Teachers need to understand how to plan lessons so that children are challenged to think and to try out what they are learning, and not simply repeat what is told to them. A new problem is that in the name of ‘activities’ and ‘play way’ methods, a lot of learning is being diluted by giving children things to do that are far below their capability. One concern is that a focus on activities would become too time consuming and make greater demands on teachers, time. Certainly, doing activities requires that time be spent in planning and preparing for activities. Initially, teachers need to make an effort to establish the classroom culture for activities and to establish the rules that will govern the space and use of materials.
• Planning with the support of appropriate material resources for individualised, small group and whole group work is the key to effective management of instruction in a multigrade, multiability or vertically grouped classroom. Instead of finding ways of juggling lesson plans based on mono-grade textbooks, teachers would need to devise, in advance, thematic topic plans in order to engage learners with exercises created for their level.
• The practices of teachers in classrooms, the mate rials they use, and the evaluation techniques employed must be internally consistent with each other.


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CLEAR CTET: Approaches of Planning
Approaches of Planning
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