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Namrata Shipstone Student no.

15731790 1 Rationale and Reflection

Rationale and reflection When designing a Unit of Work, it is essential for the teacher to think of all aspects of the topics that need to be taught, for both the student and the teacher. It is beneficial for teachers to therefore decide on a teaching approach that enhances student learning. The following essay explores the reasons behind the choice for the topics to be taught in the unit, along with the reasons behind designing the lessons in the format that they are. The topic for the VCE Unit of Work design is Social Life Between the Wars. The subtopics covered in this unit would be The Roaring 20s, Social and Economic change, Modernism in art and literature, advent of Cinema and mass entertainment. These topics are currently part of the VCE Unit 2 curriculum and therefore, can be rationalised as being an appropriate topic to be taught. However, personally the reason for selecting this topic is very different. The Unit of Work consists of activities that need to be taught over a period of four weeks, which are four lessons eighty minutes each. Due to the fact there is a lot that needs to be covered in these four lessons. The topics could have easily been limited to one Area of Study from the unit design, Social Life, however to give students a better perspective of the time period they are studying, it was important to also cover the second Area of Study, Cultural Expression. Both Areas of Study tie into each other, and one aspect influences the other. By studying both areas of Study, students learn to make relationships and draw links between the two. Each lesson, is packed with activities so that students are completely engaged in the information that they are being taught. The first two lessons, which are mainly the lectures that deliver the knowledge, are packed with video clips and images that enhance student interest and give the students a visual of the time period they are learning about.

For instance, in the first lesson, students will be shown video clips of the Roaring Twenties and Life in the 1920s. These clips are entertaining and will provide students with information, and the fact that it will be shown to them before the lecture begins, they will be slightly more familiar with the topics to be covered in the lecture. During the lecture as well, students will be shown a video clip of Charles Lindbergh, and this is not being done just to fill time. This is being done to give them a better idea and visual of the invention of aviation at the time. Again students will be shown the film Cinderella Man that depicts the struggles of society during the depression. In the second lesson, students will learn about Modernism and its influence of art, culture and society. It can be questioned whether it is important for Year 11 students to learn about Modernism, however it is a personal belief that it is important. And the reason for that is that Modernism is the birth of the modern world we live in, therefore making it essential for students to learn and understand. Modernism tackles cultural expression that students are familiar with, such as the advent of cinema and mass entertainment. While designing the unit and the lessons, the educational 5Es were taken into account. The 5Es Learning Model was initially used earlier to enhance the teaching and learning of Science (Scruggs, Mastropieri, 2008), however it is now used as part of all other methods including Humanities. It is by far the best way to design the lessons and unit using this model. The lessons have been designed keeping the student Engagement in mind. The lessons are packed with activities that will engage students. Through experience during Practicum, students tend to respond well to being shown videos and movies and are then able to pick out ideas to start a class discussion when the teacher encourages them. These lessons have been designed keeping this fact in mind. The lessons have also been designed to help students to Explore the knowledge they are being given. Throughout the lessons, as well as the research task they

Namrata Shipstone Student no. 15731790 3 Rationale and Reflection

have been given an opportunity to develop ideas and construct their own knowledge about the concepts they are introduced to. This approach is also widely a constructivist view, where students will be able to interpret the information and learn (Steffe, Gale, 1995). Students will be given opportunities throughout in order to Explain the concepts they have learnt, and this can be done in the form of class discussions encouraged by the teacher. This gives students not only a chance to share knowledge, but when they talk about something and explain it to other in class, they will take in that knowledge themselves and learn. The last two Es Elaborate and Evaluate can be observed in the way the lesson has been designed to enhance student learning by research and formulating a research question, and also to assess this research by presenting their findings as part of the assessment task designed for this unit. As research goes, students have the options of the Internet and other sources such as texts and visual evidence. The Internet has opened a whole new avenue into research, especially for students since before the advent of the World Wide Web, students conducted research mainly via textual evidence (Killen, 2009). However, having said that, it is essential for the teacher to guide this research now, so that the research does not go off course. Therefore, in the unit of work, students have been given the websites they are to use for research, and the research lesson is designed for the students to learn how to conduct research productively. If one was to reflect on this task, it would be fair to say that, even though there was a lot of work that needed to be done with the design of the unit and the lesson plans, it was not as difficult as expected. There are always limitations that are faced and this was no different. The limitation in this case comes during the planning, and since this lesson design has not been tested on a class yet, it cannot be classified as a success.

Even though the 5Es have been used to design the unit, unless and until the lessons have been taught, it is difficult to know whether they would have worked on the students. During Practicum, that was an aspect, which I had noticed and struggled with slightly, the not knowing if what I am planning for class will captivate the students or not. I chose to model the unit of work on the format of the VELS unit of work design, and this was done because the VCE study design was not as well laid out as the VELS unit of work. There was no formatting as such and was rather a large document. However having said that, aspects of the study design have been taken into account in terms of the assessment and areas of study. After completing the task, it has highlighted certain aspects of the unit of work and lesson plan designs that can be done differently. It is not certain whether it would be the correct thing to do; however if given the chance to alter the design, the content would be reduced. I am satisfied with the content, however it will be difficult to get through all the topics in such a short amount of time. Perhaps I would concentrate on one aspect such as either the Social Life or the Cultural Expression. The aim was to make it more comprehensive and let the students select their area of interest. It is a personal belief that students should be given an opportunity to make a choice for themselves as to what they would like to learn. As an experienced student, it is much more engaging to do a task, especially a research task, when there is a genuine interest in the topic. Therefore, I chose not to make the change and select only one area of study.

Namrata Shipstone Student no. 15731790 5 Rationale and Reflection

References Killen, R. (2009). Effective Teaching Strategies: Lessons from research and practice. Melbourne: Cengage Learning. Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A. (2008). Personnel Preparation. Fairfax: Emerald Group Publishing. Steffe, L.P., Gale, J.E. (1995). Constructivism in Education. New Jersey: Routledge Publishing.