My first internship directive was to present a lesson on the characteristics of middle school learners and the middle school philosophy. It is important to note that I designed and taught this lesson before reading chapter five in the Ramsden (1992) text. Consequently, my journal reflection and later evaluation of the experience are appreciably different.
To guide my lesson design, I established three student learning goals: (a) identify the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social characteristic constructs specific to the middle school learner; (b) analyze associations between the characteristic constructs and possible impediments to the middle school learning process; (c) generate accommodations and instructional strategies that address the explicit needs of the middle school learner. I also identified a broad teaching objective; to incorporate a variety of instructional methods and classroom management strategies into each of my lesson designs.
My intention was to model appropriate middle school pedagogy within content rich foundational knowledge contexts. I envisioned concluding each class session with a dissection and whole group exploration of individual lesson elements for the purpose of prompting student reflect on: what they were learning, its purpose, and its connection to their understanding of the learning process and approach to teaching.
During our initial class meeting, I asked the students to reflect on their own history as a middle school student or their interactions with middle school students. I then asked them to write down three adjectives to describe characteristics of a middle school learner. I collected the descriptors and compiled them into a wordel illustration to use as an opening lesson activ. .
wed assumption that preservice teachers would be able to connect the dots between the reasoning for understanding learner characteristics and the need to modify ones teaching to this appreciation. I think it is rather ironic that I did not personally follow the primary teaching principle that I was attempting to promote that, “teaching is comprehended as a process of working cooperatively with learners to help them change their understanding. It is making student learning possible. Teaching involves finding out about students’ misunderstandings, intervening to change them, and creating a context of learning with encourages students actively to engage with the subject matter” (p.114). My lack of knowledge and assessment of student misunderstandings negated my attempts to encourage active engagement with the lesson content resulted in theory two teaching approach.