TransformativeTeaching Methods & Lesson Plans Kurt Love, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University
What is a “Lesson”?It depends on your conceptual frame...What are the traditional, liberal/progressive, and transformativedefinitions of lessons?
Teacher’s RoleTeacher-as-Mediator Have students explore various contexts (social, cultural, ecological) in connection with the content Learn basic skills (of course), but the target is to understand how those skills/concepts are present in our community
Student’s RoleStudent-as-researcher Student will use basic skills/concepts to understand and explore community (mainstream messages, hidden messages, null messages, and tensions and relationships) The goal is to become a more democratic participant in community
Unit PlanLessons 1-2: Lessons 2-6: Raise Lessons 2-6: Lessons 2-6: Engage critical Lessons 3-8: Lessons 8-10: questions Work with Critically questions with Community 1 Community 2 about real skills and question skills skills in the world concepts and concepts community New NewThought Thought Relationship Critical Communities Info Questioning New NewThought Thought Relationship
Essential Questions“To what extent...” allows for studentsto explore complex relationships andtensions rather than binariesThese are the target or anchorquestions that you will teach towardsduring the lesson.
Hierarchy of Questions Unit Level Lesson Level (questions that support the unit level) Supporting Level (questions that support the lesson level)
Let’s Try It...“What effects did the Industrial Revolution have on naturein the U.S. during the early 20th century?” What theory or theories is this question connecting with? What relationships and/or tensions is the question connecting with? What level do you think that this question is at (unit, lesson, or supporting)? What are the other t wo levels of questions that connect with this question?
One more time...“How does the media in the U.S. perpetuate stereotypes ofpeople of color?” What theory or theories is this question connecting with? What relationships and/or tensions is the question connecting with? What level do you think that this question is at (unit, lesson, or supporting)? What are the other t wo levels of questions that connect with this question?
Informal vs. FormalInformal -Ongoing, unique to the students,Formal -Generally scheduled in as its ownactivity, same for all students
Assessment Traditional Truth Informal: Formal: Exam, Check Thought Performanceknowledge
Assessment Liberal/Progressive Informal:Check priorknowledge Informal: Formal: Exam, Check Performance knowledgeThought scaf fold New Truth Thought scaffoldThought
Assessment Transformative Informal: Informal: Formal: Formal:Check prior Connections Formal: Exam, Prepare for Formal: Performance,knowledge to personal performance Community 1 Community 2 written experiences Informal: Connections Formal: to the real “Thick world Description” New NewThought Thought Relationship Critical Communities Info Questioning New NewThought Thought Relationship
Activity Does the activity clearly make the bridge from the lesson level question/objective to the assessment?Lesson Level Activity Question & Assessment Objective
ActivityLesson Level To what extent does qualitative and quantitative data identify Question patterns of racial microaggressions from Disney films? Students will be able to analyze qualitative and quantitative data Objective to identify patterns of racial microaggressions from Disney films Students watch excerpts of Disney films to identify patterns of Activity racial microaggressions. Record obser vations, record frequency of racial microaggressions, think-pair-share, journal writing, roleplaying, satirical exploration, sur veying of friends/familyAssessment Students provide a critical discourse analysis (qualitative) and sur vey (quantitative) identifying patterns of racial microaggressions from Disney films
DifferentiationCognitive connections: Connecting withstudents’ diverse ways of learning.Cultural connections: Connecting with thediverse cultures of your students. Breaking outof the Eurocentric mindsets present in thecurriculum.Levels of resistance: Connecting with studentswho are creatively maladjusting because theysee schooling as hurting them.
“Methods”Traditional - Methods as tools to plug in or “deposit”information and reach predetermined destinations;teacher-centered “banking method”;convergent thinkingLib/Prog - Methods as tools to explore variouspathways to reach predetermined destination;student-centered “banking method”;convergent thinkingTransformative - Methods that support divergentthinking; create “thick descriptions” of community(understandings of intersections in a social, cultural,and ecological contexts)
Methods for Divergent Thinking 1. Cooperative 5. Small-Group Grouping Discussion 2. Inquiry 6. Whole-Group Discussion 3. Socratic Method 7. Use of Media 4. Direct InstructionWork in small groups •Thick Description Count off up to 7 •Community Involvement
TransformativeCooperative GroupsTraditional and Lib/Prog cooperativegrouping has each member with a differenttask all aiming for the “right answer”Transformative cooperative grouping isabout connecting to each student’sstrength with some aspect of thecommunity-based issue that is at hand.Feminist pedagogy
Transformative Small- Group Discussion Students working in small groups to explore transformative concepts and develop analyses. Each small group reports out to the rest of the class. Teacher might ask for groups to report based on commonalities/differences rather than having each group do its whole presentation. Feminist pedagogy
Transformative Whole- Class Discussion Teacher/students driving discussion through transformative analyses and questions. Good for when everyone needs to be on the same page, but not as engaging as small group discussions. Feminist pedagogy, topic dictates pedagogy
Transformative Use of Media Viewing = consuming What is transformative “viewing/consuming?” Creating = producing What is transformative “creating/producing?” Viewing/consuming transformative issues is coupled with creating/producing transformative awareness and action in one’s community. Topic dictates pedagogy
Transformative Inquiry1. Teacher/students determine a transformative context2. “Mess about” & develop testable questions3. Investigation4. Report findings & discussion about connections to curriculum; “vocabulary” emerges from findings and teacher’s guidance
Transformative Socratic MethodUsing authentic questions exclusively to explore social,cultural, and ecological relationships embedded in thecurriculumAuthentic questions are grounded in asking who we are,what are our relationships, and what our are actionsand decisions that support them?Authentic questions are NOT focused on gettingstudents to generate the “right” answers.Feminist pedagogy, topic dictates pedagogy
Transformative Direct Instruction Can be helpful when the teacher wants to help students construct lenses of analyses. Can be helpful when the level of disequilibrium is more than the students might be able to handle effectively on their own. Use it sparingly! It can be done very well, but it can be overdone pretty quickly. Topic dictates pedagogy
Community Involvement Stage 1 Researching the CommunityInter views Ethnography(family, friends, members of (cultural thick description)organizations, leaders, veterans,artists, scientists, lawyers) Participatory Research (reporting on their experiences)Observations(the mall, school, sporting event, Demographic Research (census,school dance, playground, on the state dept websites)internet via social net worksites, environment) Literature Research (local newspapers, internet)Case Study(focus on one person, group, Field trips as sites for all of theselocation, ecology)
Community Involvement Stage 2 Action in the CommunityArt Exhibits Theatre of the Oppressed(Art show, public art, instillations, (Forum theater, rainbow of desire,eco-art, murals, street art, image theater, legislative theater)“guerrilla art”) Reports & PublicationsPoetry Slams (Writing to local newspaper, having a journalist present, BOECritical Performances meetings, community groups,(Plays, musicals, choir pieces that WWW)rework and recontextualize textsor existing pieces) Documentary Film (Local issues, local attitudes, localVideo Game projects, film festival)(Social or Eco-themed) Habitat for Humanity House