In Chapter 6 “Lesson Design: Creating Lessons on Principles and Practices You Believe In”, Debbie Miller is an advocate for the releasing responsibility instructional model. This model is one that requires teachers to do their own thinking and not rely on teachers manuals to think for them.
Miller describes on p. 82 that when she was using teacher guides and textbooks they studied “everything and nothing flitting from one topic to another.” She says “with intended outcomes and gradually releasing responsibility to students flitting was no longer fitting.” I can remember many times teaching something because I was “supposed to” and asking myself why I was wasting precious time. She discusses the importance of thinking through the focus of the lesson, its importance to the learners, and making connections from the lesson to prior knowledge. We all recognize that when learning is relevant to the learner the potential for success increases.
As educators we understand the importance of students sharing in the responsibility of their own learning. Essential to that is fostering an atmosphere that encourages students to be responsible for their own learning which generates students that are more engaged and self-directed.
Share your personal strategy or strategies for encouraging students to accept responsibility for their learning.
The lesson design model involves putting the following in writing: What is the focus? What do you want students to learn? Why is it important? How will it help students? How do I use this myself? What connection can you help students make?
What value do you see in working through this process or a process similar to this? Do you think the value would be great enough to warrant the time?