30 October 2007

Daily lesson planning, Part 2

My column for last week's issue of Vox Bikol.

LAST WEEK, I ran a survey on the question "Do Filipino teachers really need to write daily lesson plans?" Though unscientific by its nature, I feel the opinion shared by my readers are worth sharing.

Mi, a student-teacher, said in defense of lesson planning:

"I've always been rebellious with regard to lesson planning and following these plans, but one thing I learned -- they are helpful. If you make a lesson plan, you'll have more confidence in delivering your lesson, you know what you want to happen.

"This would be most true to student-teachers and new teachers, as more seasoned ones should have their plans by heart already."
Schumey, a fellow blogger and Michael Schumacher fan, took the opposite view: "Lesson plans are detrimental to the whole teaching-learning process. One has to consider the pace and capacity to comprehend of your students. This is the reason why our students fail miserably during evaluation tests. We need quality not quantity."

Porfirio Rubirosa, on the other hand, agreed with the Wikipedia item I quoted last week: "Lesson plans should be for rookie teachers only who are still groping in the dark, and needs constant reminders. But for veteran teachers, they should already know it by heart (the subject matter), and maski na pagbalilabaliktarin ini, they still have the mastery over it."

From the 14 who voted in the poll, 42% (6) said there is a need for daily lesson plans, 21% (3) said they're not needed, while 28% (4) said there is a better way.

On the surface, it appears that daily lesson plans do have a place in the learning process. Mi, I think, captured its essence: "The point is the lesson plan is a guide for you as a teacher in such a way that you know what exactly are you going to teach, what are the important points to bring up, and what you intend to accomplish."

But viewed differently, the seven votes cast by those who don't think so and those who believed there is a better way, taken together, outnumber the six who unequivocally voted for the daily lesson plans.

Who does it imply? One, daily lesson planning remains a contentious issue. Two, there is a need to treat seasoned, experienced teachers differently. There is sense in cutting them some slack and trusting on their experience to get the job done.

Thirdly, there is a strong sentiment for continuous improvement, of finding a better way in monitoring and evaluating teacher performance. Come to think of it, lesson plans are merely tools to facilitate the teaching-learning process. To rigidly require them of teachers is to fatally mistake an output for an outcome.

I believe the paramount outcome of the learning process must be measured on the student: Has he truly learned what he is supposed to learn inside the classroom? Or in teacherspeak, did he gain the minimum learning competencies at the end of the school year?

This is where Schumey's point precisely comes in: the need for evaluation tests to determine whether the public school system is indeed giving our young Juan de la Cruzes the quality education they deserve. This, I think, is how our teachers and the DepEd should be measured at the end of the day, not whether their daily lesson plans were
faithfully prepared.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

At this day and age, surely, the Lesson Plan, should have evolved/morphed already in a better and more efficient tool in the learning-teaching process. New ways of deconstructing the Pedagogy of Learning are being done by Learning specialists and other Behavioral experts. But the more disturbing signs that pisses me off, rather than the use of LESSON PLANS, is the gradual deterioration of the reading and analytical skills of our studentry at large. They are NO LONGER READING ! there is so much distraction around. Ibalik and strenghten the reading skills of our students. Give them back the CLASSICS as home reading reports, and discuss them openly in class to sharpen their analytical skills. We are slowly becoming a nation of Sheeps rather than Lions who are ready to kick ass !


Porfirio Rubirosa

kimosabe27 said...

Marhay na aldaw kahimanwan,

I am a teacher based here in Los Angeles and I must say that the "old school

kimosabe27 said...

Marhay na aldaw kahimanwa,

I am a teacher based here in Los Angeles and I must say that the "old school" method of digesting textbooks and creating your own talking points in a lesson plan is more effective both as a teaching technique and a learning tool. Compared with those often confusing teacher's study guides being churned out by monolithic book companies, as practiced here in the US, the teacher's lesson plan is more indepth in coverage and more articulate in explaining gray areas as the stumbling blocks have been covered the night, or even a the week before.
But there's a caveat of course, lessons plans also become stale over time and there will always be a temptation among teachers to recycle the last year's version.
But then, Filipino teachers have always been renowned for being diligent and being creative.
That I can say not only with confidence but also with great pride.

Anonymous said...

Lone Ranger,

Nicely put ! where are you teaching there ? hopefully NOT in South Central ! are you from Naga City too ? But I also pine for the old READING, WRITING, ARITHMETIC, standard....

Tonto

kimosabe27 said...

Yes, I am assigned in South Central. Tough neighborhood. However, I am currently working in our charter school's main office assisting the Superintendent in the office of curriculum and instruction, so a 'lil bit of sabbatical in teaching.
Nope, I wish I am a pure Nagueno like Mr. Prilles, however I'm from Sipocot, just a stone's throw north of the fair city.
Yup, we do miss those three R's: reading, rayting, ritmetik.

kimosabe27 said...

"Lesson plans should be for rookie teachers only who are still groping in the dark, and needs constant reminders. But for veteran teachers, they should already know it by heart (the subject matter), and maski na pagbalilabaliktarin ini, they still have the mastery over it."

Up to a point yes. However, there should always be leeway in incorporating new knowledge in the curriculum, as well as adapting to just-off-the-mill standards in teaching. When the US enacted the "No Child Left Behind" Law, all US teachers are required to pass new batteries of tests, take up additional post-baccalaureate units and basically adhere to a new universe of teaching techniques just to be certified as compliant.

Anonymous said...

Lone Ranger,

Uragon talaga an mga taga Bicol.Imagine, a teaching job in South Central ? the toughest 'hood in Southern California !how do you survive with all the street gangs like the Bloods, Crips etc., and all the drugs, unemployment and all that urban squalor ? bilib ako sa imo Padi ! maybe you could run a story and publish it in one of Naga's leading tabloids. You remind me of the movie, STAND & DELIVER.
Carry On !

Tonto

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