Planning is of vital importance to any lecturer who wishes to conduct a successful lesson for a number of reasons. It allows a lecturer to take many key factors into consideration such as, the learner’s needs and the principles they may use during the course of the lesson. These factors alone can be conducive toward the confidence in their teaching methods and will be reflected during the course of the lesson. ( Curzon, 1990)
Careful planning is not only expected from lecturers in the short term but also in the long term. Lecturers are expected to organize several sessions based upon the curriculum or syllabus of a given subject area, over the academic year. This means that time taken in certain teaching and learning areas has to be taken into account. As one particular area may be of greater significance and importance than another and planning should take these factors into account. Once again knowing your students may also be taken into consideration. There may be academic limitations between one group of students and another.
(Woolhouse, Jones & Rees 2001)
As already stated there are many factors to be considered when organization of lessons is taking place. It helps to have an appropriate classroom environment. This will also be conducive toward effective learning taking place. It allows lecturer’s to select suitable methods such as, group tasks, role-play etc that in turn will allow any lecturer to attain and retain the attention of their students thus transferring knowledge. ( Woolhouse, Jones & Rees, 2001)
Careful planning also takes time into consideration, too long spent in one specific area may result in low attention spans. However, if not enough time is given to a specific area then several of the students may not grasp the subject. Therefore, a lecturer should be aware of setting the right pace for individual students.
For example the Edexcel Entry Level group consists of a group of nine learners who have not previously attended mainstream schools, for a variety of reasons.
Including disabilities such as dyslexia or deafness and many have behavioral problems that contribute to a low attention span. Therefore, an ILO being present during lessons, to support as and when needed is a vital resource.
One or two members of the group will try to dominate the lesson if they are given the chance so strategies need to put in place during the lesson in order to avoid this situation. Once you have gained their interest they are a highly motivated group, attempting to carry out any tasks given to them. However, repetition and reinforcement is most definitely the key to successful teaching and learning.
Rapport building was also a vital ingredient when attempting to teach this group as they respond well when they feel safe and secure in the presence of somebody they can trust and have a laugh with. A regimented regime would most definitely be a No, No in their case. However, a lesson that is well structured is almost certainly necessary in this case. A lesson that was all over the place would once again lead to the learners feeling insecure in their environment and a break down in teaching and learning would almost definitely occur.
Planning in learning is very important. For my own teaching I use a scheme of work that helps me to view the session outcomes and resources needed for me to complete my module (refer to appendix one).
From the scheme of work is where we design our session plan for each lesson that we teach (refer to appendix two for four session plan). A session plan is the best way to plan any lesson because it contains information such as the group you are teaching, topic, date, length of session, aims, objectives, resources that you need, tutor activities, learner activities, differentiation methods, learning styles and evaluation of session.
With my session plan it helps me to organize my class and gather my resources in advance so my sessions could run as smoothly as possible.
All learners are different and have their own needs and ways of learning. This could include learning styles, differentiation, motivation and the environment in which learning is taking place.
There are four main types of learning styles; these are activist, reflector, pragmatist and theorist.
Activists – are open-minded and learn through doing
Reflectors – learn through reflection and discussion
Pragmatists – learn by testing and trying out ideas
Theorists – learn by carefully thinking ideas through.
When we plan session plans we need to ensure that all learner needs are met. Learner needs can be identified using questionnaires, assessments, through observation etc.
A variety of teaching/learning methods are used to include all learning styles. A recap will be necessary at the start and each session to evaluate the previous session and to assess the knowledge that has been gained. The teaching/learning methods used will aim to meet the needs of the group of learners with diverse abilities and needs. Teaching methods used are 1:1, small group and role play to allow the learners to work at their own pace and level of ability to differentiate learning needs of the individual learner.
Differentiation is a good method to meet learner needs. Differentiation is also a planned process and involves finding out about your learners. Differentiation is also about trying out new things, understanding and using different approaches and methods to fulfill learner needs. An example of differentiation could be to have an ILO to help tutors assist a class with learners on a one to one basis or as a group. It also involves evaluating the efficiency of activities to help learners achieve their goals.