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Will teachers lose the art of lesson-planning?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by TES_Rosaline, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Lesson-planning is a key part of a teacher’s job, but some schools believe the only way to create consistency in the curriculum is to ask their staff to use PowerPoints created by departments. But is this really the best way to ensure consistency and how will teachers hone their lesson-planning skills if their lessons turn into a slide show? One teacher gives her view about this one-size-fits-all approach to satisfy Ofsted’s focus is on the curriculum:

    ‘So why, then, is it becoming increasingly more common for departments to dispense with this individualised method of planning, and to replace it with more of a one-size-fits-all approach?

    Well, time is a key factor – there is no doubt that one person creating a set of PowerPoints for time-poor colleagues is more efficient. And quality assurance is clearly much more streamlined when everyone is delivering the same lesson, in exactly the same way, at the same time.

    But I can’t help feeling like this is something of a downward spiral. If trainees and NQTs never plan their own lessons, how on earth are they ever going to develop this skill?’

    Emma Lawton is lead English teacher across a multi-academy trust in West Yorkshire.


    What are your views about PowerPoint teaching?
  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It is perfectly possible for both to apply at the same time. Plan a lesson, use somebody else's Power point. Leave out the bits not in your plan. Add bits which are.
    What is the issue?

    It's exactly the same with text books and planning.
    Although you don't get an engaging depth charge sound effect when you turn the page.
  3. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    It is the level to which the diktat to use other's lessons is taken that would be the problem. I remember my first year of teaching when I was so grateful for the centralised teaching schemes and resources that my school provided. Then I started contributing my own resources to the pool of lessons which made me feel part of the "gang" and especially pleased when somebody complimented them to me.

    And as Robbo says above. You take what you want from them and leave the bits you don't want.
    corgie11, colpee, sbkrobson and 2 others like this.
  4. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I might be taking it out of context, but I Wonder why Power Points are specified. In the day, the kids would complain about Death by Worksheet. I suppose nowadays they complain about Death by Power Point. We need variety in the classroom.
    BelleDuJour likes this.
  5. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Which is another reason why OFSTED needs to die.
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Having the same set of powerpoints is not going to satisfy OFSTED.

    I never use somebody elses powerpoints. No two people will create the same powerpoint for the same presentation. The way each of us goes about breaking down a curriculum into pieces which can be delivered is totally unique to each of us. How we teach a piece of curriculum is also very unique to each of us. So why is everybody using the same powerpoints in any way a good thing? It is not consistency, it is lack of imagination and a bit lazy in my book.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  7. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    The art of lesson planning was lost years ago, when technology (powerpoints) and ready written SoWs with exam board specific text books appeared. Early part of this century.
    You can get hold of SoWs that a trained monkey could deliver these days.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  8. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    To do lesson planning without any resources at all requires you to know your subject thoroughly and way beyond whatever level you are teaching.

    Textbooks were therefore very useful, and usually covered the subject more broadly than would be required for exams, so giving a better overall understanding of the subject. But that was then.

    If you compare text books from even just 20 years ago to more recent ones you'll notice that the earlier ones have much more content, often require a higher reading level and contain very few pictures. Later ones all seem to have minimal written content and lots of cartoon pictures... so in a way, today's teacher still needs to be across their subject thoroughly... except that this doesn't always happen.

    Teaching by powerpoint is very often an indication that the teacher knows marginally more than is on the presentation and a few notes, and is clearly designed for any idiot to 'teach' the subject. Bring on the TAs and let's sack all the qualified specialists!
    BelleDuJour and sbkrobson like this.
  9. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Why is it an art? Any good teacher knows what they are doing in the classroom
  10. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Well education is a big world and some bad practices are sure to be found if we look hard enough. It may well be that an odd (weird imo) school doesn't encourage NQTs to plan lessons or has managed to persuade people who should know better that they can 'teach' via PowerPoint. The reality though is that the vast majority of schools and teachers see good lesson planning as critical to good teaching and get on with it. Not a dying skill at all.
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The pupils know that those who teach by PowerPoint lack knowledge and confidence. I've been told that by pupils more times than I can remember now.

    Lesson planning (no hyphen necessary) is a vital skill as you learn to plan and deliver material. Of course it is deteriorating with all these prepackaged schemes of work for NQTs and short-term supply teachers to use. Given the staffing problems, what else can you do?

    Life, children and teachers are not consistent. Neither should lessons be.
    Dragonlady30 and BelleDuJour like this.
  12. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    I used PowerPoint a lot and know my subject well. I wouldn't like to have them imposed on me though. If lesson plans are to be handed down from on high to the extent that teachers forget how to plan, it doesn't say much for differentiation does it? How many times have you gone home and changed/tweaked stuff - yes, even a PowerPoint - for a class or group of pupils who needed something different/extra? Would that even be "allowed"?
  13. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    The department I work in had to make powerpoints to a formula in 2018. Now I find a prepared powerpoint useful sometimes- if i have had time off sick, am very pressured for time but would not use them on a regular basis. I taught triple award physics today I am a biologist.Used a powerpoint on velocity time graphs today prepared by a colleague who is physicist, but tweeked some slides used my own worksheets. I could plan from scratch but why reinvent the wheel?

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