During the following months, we drew from the knowledge we had gained about the community. We spoke to TIF educators, teachers in our own school campus and researched more into the established concepts and philosophies on cognitive development to produce an effective educational lesson for local students.
The following is key points I learnt from teachers and educators on how to construct a lesson for the students.
1. Incorporating 21st Century Skills (Critical Thinking, Collaboration)
I learnt the importance of incorporating 21st Century Skills (Critical Thinking, Collaboration) to raise the quality of students and develop highly refined and practically applicable skills. These skills help children to have better thought processes and communication skills that help them in the future. The importance of starting to develop these skills early and provide a quality platform for students to learn is something we usually take for granted and not really understand how beneficial these are for our future.
2. Contextually and Age Appropriate
When planning a lesson it is crucial to make sure the lesson is of the conceptual understanding level of the group of students that we are working with. The concepts should drawn upon knowledge they are familiar with and knowledge they can expand on related to the particular topic. In this case, we learnt how teaching knowledge that is relevant to the lives of students in the community would be highly beneficial and practical.
3. Time Management
While planning our lesson, we realised the difficulty of trying to fit all of the content we wanted to cover within a particular time limit. The main issue we learnt how to work around was leaving time to consolidate the information that will be given to them so that the lesson if effective and not open-ended. I realised that we need and equal amount of time to give new information as well as discuss and digest that information during class time.
4. Classroom Management
During the process we researched into classroom management techniques and I learnt a lot about effective methods of keeping the class attentive and engaged. I learnt that vocal or visual cues are better methods than verbal cues. Additionally, we learnt to modify our techniques to the age group of the students again which account for their attention span
We incorporated ideologies from cognitive development philosophers into our plans for the project. In our lessons plan we aimed to build upon concepts and draw upon knowledge students are familiar with and knowledge that can enhance their understanding on that particular topic and prompt them toward new refined ideas. This syncs up with the Vygotsky’s ideologies of the ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ wherein teachers guides them through what they know and what they have to learn through discussion and debating. This then relates to the 21st Century Skill of collaboration as it evokes sociocultural learning and helps children catch ideas themselves rather than it being taught and not understood. The latter is a philosophy put forward by Piaget.
Furthermore, we read reports from Indonesian educators such as the ‘Catalysing Productive Livelihood’ report that helped us know how to tailor our lesson plan to the Indonesia’s development needs. The main components lacking Indonesia’s educational development from reading the Catalysing Productive Livelihood report is the quality of teachers, the quality of education and the late enrolment in school. The approach of learning we want to incorporate gives students a higher quality of education as it develops more practical skills needed from the future using more holistic ways of teaching rather than rote-learning or teacher-centred learning. This method of education focuses on realistic levels of knowledge so that no conceptual understanding is lost in translation. It is a method that can be implemented at a young age and non-reliant on level of content so students can starts practicing beneficial skills that can counteract late the issue enrolment. Student-centred learning gives teachers new improved and efficient methods of teaching as well.
The following links are the resources we prepared to present to The Island Foundation:
A presentation we made to describe our intentions, aims and lesson outlook:
Lesson plan drafted for project execution – LINK HERE
We had also prepared a handmade book (which is now used in the school community in Pengudang).