Effectiveness this week stems from my developing a problem-based lesson plan. On “the other side” with what was for me a tough problem; I figured it out. And although the lesson may not be perfect yet, I have confidence now that I am on my way to an authentic, student-centered classroom (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009).
I suspected and then learned from the reading that planning for problem-based learning would be difficult and “uncomfortable” (Ertmer & Simons, 2006). First hand, I agree. It was frustrating and time consuming, but having developed the plan I am ready for the next. I learned about many useful sites that will assist with PBL and now await my colleagues’ suggestions. I still need to learn the nuances between problem-based and project-based particularly how much assistance to offer and how much to leave out. In terms of scaffolding, my “helpfulness” seems appropriate. In terms of creating a definite student-centered atmosphere, am I being too helpful? I hope to learn the limits of this helpfulness so that I do not enable my students’ “learned helplessness” (Moore, 2001).
Yet to be finished, I must map out the curriculum for the entire semester of British literature. I plan on getting away for a few days, so the work must come along. No worry, I enjoy reading to learn (when the literature is exciting, which it is) more than I enjoy reading for fun. I will try to curb my enthusiasm and relax as much as possible. I do need that. When I make myself anxious, I cannot think. Call it test anxiety, type “A” personality; whatever you want. Adjusting my plan will come with fewer commitments and clear thinking; right now it is one day at a time; one assignment at a time.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom
use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Moore, K. (2001). Classroom teaching skills. New York: McGraw-Hill.