Teaching as Decision Making: Successful Practices for the Secondary Teacher / Edition 2

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Overview

For general courses in Secondary and/or Middle School Methods. This constructivist-based book examines teaching at the secondary level through discussion of five key factors involved in its practice: Students, Content, Pedagogy, Philosophy, and Context—instilling in future teachers the constructivist idea that designing instruction must begin with consideration of the learner. The objective of the material is to help prospective teachers develop a set of skills, without oversimplifying the complexity of teaching. First chapters are on learning, student characteristics, cultural differences, and authentic learning—while material on learning outcomes, assessments, and lesson plans are in later chapters. Much of the content is devoted to the design of curriculum, teaching approaches, classroom management, and adaptation/differentiation of instruction for students with special needs of all types. Numerous examples drawn from high school lessons and units are presented through a common template that addresses strength/weaknesses, where/when/with whom it would be most effective, how to modify it to meet the needs of special learners, and what values and/or social relationships it promotes. In addition, a case study involving a multidisciplinary unit on Zimbabwe ties text-sanctioned practices to unit/lesson planning that meets state and local standards. For prospective secondary teachers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130474780
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 6/26/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Georgea M. Sparks-Langer is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University and coordinator of a grant to improve teacher quality through a student teaching performance assessment that documents K-12 student learning gains. A former foreign language teacher, she has presented workshops nationally and internationally for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Phi Delta Kappa, and numerous states, countries, districts, and schools. She has published extensively in the areas of staff development (as Georgea M. Sparks), teacher education, and teachers' reflective decision making in journals such as Journal of Educational Psychology, Educational Leadership, Journal of Teacher Education, and Journal of Staff Development. She is coauthor (with Amy Colton and Loretta Goff) of Collaborative Analysis of Student Work to Improve Teaching and Learning (ascd.org).

Alane J. Starko is Department Head and professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University. A former elementary classroom teacher and teacher of the gifted, she has been an active consultant in the areas of classroom differentiation, creativity, and education of the gifted and talented. Alane has been a board member and service publications editor for the National Association for Gifted Children. In addition to her work on both editions of Teaching as Decision Making, she is author of Creativity in the Classroom: Schools of Curious Delight, It's About Time, and a variety of articles, and she is coauthor (with Gina Schack) of two books on authentic research with young people.

Marvin Pasch recently retired from his role as a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University and is now the Senior Editor for Social Studies for the State of Michigan Merit Award Program's Sample Curriculum and Plans for Education (SCOPE) project. During his higher education career, he was a college administrator at EMU and Cleveland State University for 16 years and a faculty member for almost 30 years. He taught junior and senior high school social studies for 11 years. He has a 35-year interest in instructional planning and program evaluation and has published articles in the Journal of Staff Development, Journal of Teacher Education, Social Education, Science Teacher, and Educational Leadership.

Wendy Burke is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University. A former high school English teacher, she has been an active consultant in the areas of novice teacher induction and mentoring, professional development, and school reform. Wendy is on the Editorial Review Board of The Teacher Educator.

Christella D. Moody was a public school teacher in Chicago Public Schools for 11 years and then spent 15 years in the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Public Schools as a teacher, school administrator, coordinator of multiethnic instruction, and coordinator of staff development. She has consulted in more than 10 states on effective teaching and multicultural education. She is the historian of the National Alliance of Black School Educators and the developer of the Young Educators Society for the State of Michigan. She is currently president of Current Directions Publishing Co. and executive director of the C. D. Moody Educational Foundation.

Trevor G. Gardner is Vice President for Academic Administration at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Jamaica. A former professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University, he was also an elementary and secondary teacher, a high school principal, and a school board member. He is an international consultant in school discipline and positive parent participation, having created the Rational Approach to Practical School Discipline (RAPSD), which is featured in Chapter 12, as well as the Participating Parents for Progress (PPP). Over the past 19 years he has consulted with more than 100 schools and colleges on discipline, multicultural education, and desegregation.

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Read an Excerpt

THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Teaching as Decision Making: Successful Practices for the Secondary Teacher is the work of teacher educators with deep roots in schools. The book attempts to bridge the theoretical with the practical, recognizing the import of theory and skill development, carefully planned lessons and teachable moments, and the intangible but all important magic of the teacher/student relationship. Careful decision making, which is necessary to plan lessons that address the needs of specific students, is stressed along with understanding the broader issues and context at hand. The text encourages readers to reflect upon five key factors involved in making and implementing ethical and effective decisions about teaching and learning:

  • Students (culture, styles, needs, interests, development)
  • Content (key concepts, outcomes and standards, required thinking)
  • Pedagogy (methods, approaches, strategies, assessments)
  • Philosophy (moral aspects, beliefs, aims, values)
  • Context (physical environment, political conditions, social aspects)

A sample middle-level interdisciplinary unit on Zimbabwe is included in the appendix and referenced throughout the text to develop future teachers' skills in unit and lesson planning within the context of local and state standards. Additional examples are drawn from high schools and a multitude of individual lessons. With every strategy learned, students are invited to critique:

  • its strengths and weaknesses
  • where, when, and with whom it might be most effective
  • how it might need to be modified for special student needs
  • what values or social relationships itmight promote

Thus the reader learns technical reflection (e.g., How do I use this technique and improve upon it?) as well as critical reflection (e.g., What long-range values are being promoted?). Teachers need to ask themselves both kinds of questions, and new teachers need information on the technical aspects of the job. Therefore, practical, concrete skill development and models for instruction are provided, and deep reflection on their use is prompted through reflection journals, Reflecting on the Ideas activities, and Practice Activities.

The teaching approaches and strategies presented in this text are grounded in contemporary learning theory and constructivist practice. The authors' view of constructivism centers on students actively engaged in building understanding, whatever the strategy or lesson design. Engaged learners construct meaning across a range of strategies such as direct and inductive approaches, cooperative learning and independent learning, learning centers, and role-play.

Any approach that purports to be constructivist must start with students first. This edition of Teaching as Decision Making makes that process explicit by rearranging chapters so that information on learning, student characteristics, cultural differences, and authentic learning appears before information on learning outcomes, assessments, or lesson plans.

The text emphasizes understanding the students as well as the results of teaching—the students' learning. Future teachers learn to continuously inquire into the meaning students are making of the ideas, skills, and dispositions being taught through both formal and informal assessment (e.g., preassessment).

Finally, the text uses a bridge metaphor to describe the process of building connections between students and content. One of the key aspects of the metaphor is that students must trust teachers enough to come across the bridge with them. The process of relationship building, both with individual students and across a learning community, is a thread through our discussion of instruction and the approaches to classroom management presented at the end of the book. ORGANIZATION OF TOPICS

Chapter 1 provides a model of teachers' reflective decision making and introduces the metaphor of bridge building for considering the many aspects of teacher reflection. It also considers the teacher/student relationships that are at the heart of teaching.

Chapters 2 through 12 are organized into three themes: Planning for Instruction, Implementation, and Creating a Positive Learning Environment.

Topic 1. Planning for Instruction: Setting the Stage
• Understanding students and learning (Chapter 2)
• Teaching for understanding and authentic learning (Chapter 2)
• Choosing and analyzing classroom goals (Chapter 3)
• Teaching to content standards (Chapter 3)
• Planning for educational outcomes/objectives (Chapter 4)
• Assessing learning performances (Chapter 5)

Topic 2. Implementation: Hands-on Teaching
• Reflective lesson design and constructivist theory (Chapter 6)
• Designing and teaching lessons and assessments
• Direct approaches (Chapter 7)
• Inductive approaches (Chapter 8)
• Facilitating structures and strategies (Chapter 9)
• Differentiation and diversity (Chapter 10)

Topic 3. Creating a Positive Learning Environment
• Building the classroom community (Chapter 11)
• Dealing with classroom disruptions (Chapter 12)
• Managing classroom discipline (Chapter 12)

The book concludes with an Afterword, which leads future teachers to envision their future as continual learners and to accept the importance of commitment and hope in shaping a career. FEATURES OF THE TEXT Strengths

Teaching as Decision Making:

  • emphasizes developing skills in classroom curriculum design; specifically, planning, teaching, and assessment skills. Readers are prepared to create teaching units based on state or local curriculum standards.
  • emphasizes both technical and critical reflective decision making. Readers learn technique and how to critique it for its long-range effects and ethical implications.
  • stresses conceptual understanding, rather than fact-centered planning, through its analysis of content and outcomes.
  • uses backward design principles in its curriculum design process, beginning with substantial goals, planning assessment strategies, and then creating lessons to lead toward the goals.
  • emphasizes authentic, real-life tasks for learning and assessment (e.g., student-led research, problem-based learning, alternative assessment, and inductive models of teaching).
  • recognizes both formal and informal modes of teaching and the role of teachable moments alongside carefully planned lessons.
  • summarizes contemporary research on learning, memory, and brain functioning.
  • develops, through its detailed explanations and concrete models, the ability to design, teach, and reflect upon the results of a variety of approaches to learning:
  • direct approaches (storytelling, minilectures)
  • inductive approaches (inquiry, problem-based learning, student research, roleplay and simulation)
  • presents strategies and structures to support teaching approaches
  • questioning
  • group learning activities and cooperative learning
  • academic service learning
  • integrating technology in instruction
  • centers and contracts
  • describes short- and long-term planning strategies.
  • focuses on the importance of differentiated instruction, including meeting the diverse needs of multicultural, gifted, special education, bilingual, and urban students.
  • presents in two chapters a practical and balanced approach to classroom management. Concrete strategies in behavioral, humanistic, and research-based traditions provide a base for developing a philosophy of classroom management and creating a learning community.
Pedagogical Features

The pedagogical features of this text are:

  • Chapter Overview: A short section highlights the key ideas that follow.
  • Opening Activity: Each chapter begins with an activity that prompts the reader to reflect upon the topic to come, usually a case or situation.
  • Chapter and Section Objectives: Each chapter or each section within a chapter has a list of learning outcomes that will be developed.
  • Check Your Understanding: After a presentation of important ideas, readers are invited to check their understanding of the content.
  • Reflecting on the Ideas: Throughout each chapter, readers are asked to consider their response to the ideas or to take an alternate point of view.
  • Chapter Summary: At the end of each chapter, key ideas are summarized.
  • Practice Activities: At the end of sections and chapters, readers are asked to complete skill-building activities or reflection exercises.
  • Unit Preparation: At the end of each chapter students are asked to complete activities that will lead to the creation of a curriculum unit. Students who complete each of these activities will have a complete unit by the end of the book.
  • Portfolio Activities: Each chapter contains suggestions for items based on chapter content that may be included in a professional portfolio.
  • Search the Web: When applicable, chapters contain references from the World Wide Web.
Special Features

Special features in this text include:

  • Reflective Teacher Decision-Making Model: The model is presented in Chapter 1 and is referred to throughout the book.
  • Sample Unit: A sample unit on Zimbabwe (in the appendix) provides an example of each unit component, including various types of lessons.
  • Reflection Journal: The journal prompts readers to consider the technical aspects (e.g., What worked? Why? What would you do differently? Who learned what?) and to reflect critically on the ethical and moral aspects (e.g., What values were promoted today?) of the lessons they teach.
Improvements

The following items are improvements in this second edition:

  • The reflective decision-making model includes the role of relationships and the community in learning.
  • The chapter on understanding students and learning appears earlier (moved from Chapter 4 to Chapter 2) to emphasize the central role of the learner.
  • The section on constructivist learning has been expanded.
  • The role of standards and alternative assessments is emphasized.
  • Concepts and practices of differentiation (adaptations) for student needs are provided throughout the text.
  • Academic service learning and teaching with technology are expanded.
  • Each chapter ends with unit preparation assignments, portfolio activities, and Web resources.
  • Reflection journals encourage analysis of student learning results and critical pedagogy after teaching specific lessons.
  • The management chapters emphasize the development of a positive classroom community.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Teaching and Reflective Decision Making.

TOPIC 1. Planning for Instruction: Setting the Stage .

2. Understanding Students and Learning.

3. Choosing and Analyzing Classroom Goals.

4. Planning Educational Outcomes.

5. Assessing Learning Performances.

TOPIC 2. Implementation: Hands–on Teaching.

6. Reflective Lesson Design.

7. Models for Teaching: Direct.

8. Models for Teaching: Inductive.

9. Facilitating Structures and Strategies.

10. Diversity and Differentiation.

TOPIC 3. Creating a Positive Learning Environment.

11. Classroom Management: Traditions, Programs, and Goals.

12. A Rational Approach to Classroom Management.

Afterword.

Appendix: Example Unit Zimbabwe: A World's View from Africa

Glossary.

Index

Read More Show Less

Preface

THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Teaching as Decision Making: Successful Practices for the Secondary Teacher is the work of teacher educators with deep roots in schools. The book attempts to bridge the theoretical with the practical, recognizing the import of theory and skill development, carefully planned lessons and teachable moments, and the intangible but all important magic of the teacher/student relationship. Careful decision making, which is necessary to plan lessons that address the needs of specific students, is stressed along with understanding the broader issues and context at hand. The text encourages readers to reflect upon five key factors involved in making and implementing ethical and effective decisions about teaching and learning:

  • Students (culture, styles, needs, interests, development)
  • Content (key concepts, outcomes and standards, required thinking)
  • Pedagogy (methods, approaches, strategies, assessments)
  • Philosophy (moral aspects, beliefs, aims, values)
  • Context (physical environment, political conditions, social aspects)

A sample middle-level interdisciplinary unit on Zimbabwe is included in the appendix and referenced throughout the text to develop future teachers' skills in unit and lesson planning within the context of local and state standards. Additional examples are drawn from high schools and a multitude of individual lessons. With every strategy learned, students are invited to critique:

  • its strengths and weaknesses
  • where, when, and with whom it might be most effective
  • how it might need to be modified for special student needs
  • what values or social relationships it might promote

Thus the reader learns technical reflection (e.g., How do I use this technique and improve upon it?) as well as critical reflection (e.g., What long-range values are being promoted?). Teachers need to ask themselves both kinds of questions, and new teachers need information on the technical aspects of the job. Therefore, practical, concrete skill development and models for instruction are provided, and deep reflection on their use is prompted through reflection journals, Reflecting on the Ideas activities, and Practice Activities.

The teaching approaches and strategies presented in this text are grounded in contemporary learning theory and constructivist practice. The authors' view of constructivism centers on students actively engaged in building understanding, whatever the strategy or lesson design. Engaged learners construct meaning across a range of strategies such as direct and inductive approaches, cooperative learning and independent learning, learning centers, and role-play.

Any approach that purports to be constructivist must start with students first. This edition of Teaching as Decision Making makes that process explicit by rearranging chapters so that information on learning, student characteristics, cultural differences, and authentic learning appears before information on learning outcomes, assessments, or lesson plans.

The text emphasizes understanding the students as well as the results of teaching—the students' learning. Future teachers learn to continuously inquire into the meaning students are making of the ideas, skills, and dispositions being taught through both formal and informal assessment (e.g., preassessment).

Finally, the text uses a bridge metaphor to describe the process of building connections between students and content. One of the key aspects of the metaphor is that students must trust teachers enough to come across the bridge with them. The process of relationship building, both with individual students and across a learning community, is a thread through our discussion of instruction and the approaches to classroom management presented at the end of the book.

ORGANIZATION OF TOPICS

Chapter 1 provides a model of teachers' reflective decision making and introduces the metaphor of bridge building for considering the many aspects of teacher reflection. It also considers the teacher/student relationships that are at the heart of teaching.

Chapters 2 through 12 are organized into three themes: Planning for Instruction, Implementation, and Creating a Positive Learning Environment.

Topic 1. Planning for Instruction: Setting the Stage
• Understanding students and learning (Chapter 2)
• Teaching for understanding and authentic learning (Chapter 2)
• Choosing and analyzing classroom goals (Chapter 3)
• Teaching to content standards (Chapter 3)
• Planning for educational outcomes/objectives (Chapter 4)
• Assessing learning performances (Chapter 5)

Topic 2. Implementation: Hands-on Teaching
• Reflective lesson design and constructivist theory (Chapter 6)
• Designing and teaching lessons and assessments
• Direct approaches (Chapter 7)
• Inductive approaches (Chapter 8)
• Facilitating structures and strategies (Chapter 9)
• Differentiation and diversity (Chapter 10)

Topic 3. Creating a Positive Learning Environment
• Building the classroom community (Chapter 11)
• Dealing with classroom disruptions (Chapter 12)
• Managing classroom discipline (Chapter 12)

The book concludes with an Afterword, which leads future teachers to envision their future as continual learners and to accept the importance of commitment and hope in shaping a career.

FEATURES OF THE TEXT

Strengths

Teaching as Decision Making:

  • emphasizes developing skills in classroom curriculum design; specifically, planning, teaching, and assessment skills. Readers are prepared to create teaching units based on state or local curriculum standards.
  • emphasizes both technical and critical reflective decision making. Readers learn technique and how to critique it for its long-range effects and ethical implications.
  • stresses conceptual understanding, rather than fact-centered planning, through its analysis of content and outcomes.
  • uses backward design principles in its curriculum design process, beginning with substantial goals, planning assessment strategies, and then creating lessons to lead toward the goals.
  • emphasizes authentic, real-life tasks for learning and assessment (e.g., student-led research, problem-based learning, alternative assessment, and inductive models of teaching).
  • recognizes both formal and informal modes of teaching and the role of teachable moments alongside carefully planned lessons.
  • summarizes contemporary research on learning, memory, and brain functioning.
  • develops, through its detailed explanations and concrete models, the ability to design, teach, and reflect upon the results of a variety of approaches to learning:
    • direct approaches (storytelling, minilectures)
    • inductive approaches (inquiry, problem-based learning, student research, roleplay and simulation)
  • presents strategies and structures to support teaching approaches
    • questioning
    • group learning activities and cooperative learning
    • academic service learning
    • integrating technology in instruction
    • centers and contracts
  • describes short- and long-term planning strategies.
  • focuses on the importance of differentiated instruction, including meeting the diverse needs of multicultural, gifted, special education, bilingual, and urban students.
  • presents in two chapters a practical and balanced approach to classroom management. Concrete strategies in behavioral, humanistic, and research-based traditions provide a base for developing a philosophy of classroom management and creating a learning community.

Pedagogical Features

The pedagogical features of this text are:

  • Chapter Overview: A short section highlights the key ideas that follow.
  • Opening Activity: Each chapter begins with an activity that prompts the reader to reflect upon the topic to come, usually a case or situation.
  • Chapter and Section Objectives: Each chapter or each section within a chapter has a list of learning outcomes that will be developed.
  • Check Your Understanding: After a presentation of important ideas, readers are invited to check their understanding of the content.
  • Reflecting on the Ideas: Throughout each chapter, readers are asked to consider their response to the ideas or to take an alternate point of view.
  • Chapter Summary: At the end of each chapter, key ideas are summarized.
  • Practice Activities: At the end of sections and chapters, readers are asked to complete skill-building activities or reflection exercises.
  • Unit Preparation: At the end of each chapter students are asked to complete activities that will lead to the creation of a curriculum unit. Students who complete each of these activities will have a complete unit by the end of the book.
  • Portfolio Activities: Each chapter contains suggestions for items based on chapter content that may be included in a professional portfolio.
  • Search the Web: When applicable, chapters contain references from the World Wide Web.

Special Features

Special features in this text include:

  • Reflective Teacher Decision-Making Model: The model is presented in Chapter 1 and is referred to throughout the book.
  • Sample Unit: A sample unit on Zimbabwe (in the appendix) provides an example of each unit component, including various types of lessons.
  • Reflection Journal: The journal prompts readers to consider the technical aspects (e.g., What worked? Why? What would you do differently? Who learned what?) and to reflect critically on the ethical and moral aspects (e.g., What values were promoted today?) of the lessons they teach.

Improvements

The following items are improvements in this second edition:

  • The reflective decision-making model includes the role of relationships and the community in learning.
  • The chapter on understanding students and learning appears earlier (moved from Chapter 4 to Chapter 2) to emphasize the central role of the learner.
  • The section on constructivist learning has been expanded.
  • The role of standards and alternative assessments is emphasized.
  • Concepts and practices of differentiation (adaptations) for student needs are provided throughout the text.
  • Academic service learning and teaching with technology are expanded.
  • Each chapter ends with unit preparation assignments, portfolio activities, and Web resources.
  • Reflection journals encourage analysis of student learning results and critical pedagogy after teaching specific lessons.
  • The management chapters emphasize the development of a positive classroom community.
Read More Show Less

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