Psychology of Lesson Plans and Unit Development

By Ediger, Marlow | Reading Improvement, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

Psychology of Lesson Plans and Unit Development


Ediger, Marlow, Reading Improvement


Careful planning of lesson plans and units of study is important. Good planning does not mean success in teaching, but it certainly is salient to be well prepared each day for teaching pupils. It is unfortunate if teachers enter classrooms with little to show in the way of being prepared for teaching. Pupils do notice if a teacher is ill prepared for teaching any given day. Pupils may feel if the teacher is not prepared for teaching, why should they study hard and be accountable for doing well in school. Being well prepared for teaching does instill confidence within the teacher for teaching.

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Planning for Instruction

In pre student teaching experiences, university professors have worked hard to get the student ready for the next challenge. That challenge is to get student teachers ready for teaching pupils in the public schools. There have been methods courses taken by university students prior to student teaching. There also have been educational psychology courses taken by the student. The capstone of the university experience is student teaching whereby the pre service teacher is now ready to apply what has been learned sequentially.

The university student, prior to student teaching, needs to meet with his/her cooperating teacher to discuss the following:

1. which lessons and units have just been taught or are being taught.

2. what he/she will be observing, prior to actual participation in teaching.

3. how pupils are to be evaluated in achievement.

4. how objectives are to be written for pupils to achieve.

This brings in state mandated objectives into the discussion.

5. how the curriculum will be organized in terms of separate subjects, correlation, fused, or integrated procedures.

6. how pupils are to be disciplined and the student teachers role therein.

The balance of content will pertain to both pre and inservice education of teachers. The following are important to emphasize as a professional in teaching:

1. the teacher must always practice good human relations in working with other teachers.

2. the teacher needs to be able to plan cooperatively with others if team teaching is being implemented.

3. the teacher needs to develop a sense of community with pupils and develop mutual respect for all (Ediger, 2002, 16-19).

Developing Lesson Plans

The teacher needs to establish clearly written objectives for each lesson and unit to be taught. These objectives need to reflect relevant knowledge ends. Knowledge must emphasize what is salient. Trivia and irrelevant subject matter need to be weeded out. Broadly stated general objectives stress the importance of major generalizations or the structure of knowledge. The broad, general objectives need to become more specific so they are meaningful to the teacher and he/she understands what will be taught. Thus, performance objectives may be written which state what a pupil is to do within each lesson and unit. Sometimes, it takes more than one lesson to implement what is stated in a performance objective. The following are examples of performance objectives:

1. the pupil will read a 200 running word selection from the textbook and tell in his/her own words what has been read.

2. the pupil will draw a picture covering content read.

3. the pupil will neatly label the completed picture.

4. the pupil will gather information, from self selected reference sources, which is directly related to the illustration. The pupil will place the summary underneath the illustration.

5. the pupil will give a brief summary of information collected.

With the use of performance objectives, it designates

1. who is to do what.

2. what is wanted to show achievement.

3. completeness to emphasize goal attainment (Ediger, 2002, 176- 181).

In addition to knowledge objectives, the student teacher also needs to stress skills ends, in doing something with the obtained knowledge, skills need emphasis. …

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