© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved. Companion guides for lesson planning: a planning template and the lesson plan pro forma May Pang Jason Anderson’s proposal for an affordance-based approach to lesson planning raises important issues in teacher education. However, his arguments against the role of planned outcomes in favour of an affordance-based focus using learning opportunities as units of planning fail to acknowledge the complexities involved and teachers’ needs in mastering this essential task. By way of response, in this article I first echo the legitimate concerns raised in Anderson’s paper about lesson planning, then follow with a critical analysis of three fundamental issues of curriculum planning which reflect fallacies in his core argument. Then, based on a holistic perspective, I propose scaffolding lesson planning in teacher training, using the companion guides of a planning template and the lesson plan pro forma. Practical suggestions are also made for a three-level planning model for EFL/ESL practice with the support of a generic lesson plan incorporating examples of reasoning and ways of representing the decisions made during the plan writing process. In his recent ELT Journal article, Anderson (2015) follows the tradition of comparative evaluation of perceived (or misperceived!) ‘polar opposites’ in ELT ( Kiely 2014 : 447) in his proposed shift from an outcomes-focused to an affordance-based, and thus learner-focused, approach to lesson planning for language teaching. He makes a number of practical suggestions for modifying the lesson plan pro forma and its role in lesson observation, suggesting these are more realistic reflections of both student learning and experienced teachers’ practices in teaching. There is much to agree with in the points he raises: ■ planning should be flexible in order to cater to the dynamic nature of learning between the learner and the learning opportunities that arise in the learning context; ■ the central but potentially problematic role the lesson plan pro forma plays in classroom observation; and ■ the importance of guiding teachers to focus on the provision of learning opportunities, and the impact of this in post-observation discussions. Yet there are fundamental issues in adopting a polarized discussion (Kiely ibid.), revealing problems not only in his conceptualization Introduction ELT Journal; doi:10.1093/elt/ccw053 Page 1 of 11 ELT Journal Advance Access published August 5, 2016 at University of California, San Diego on September 11, 2016 Downloaded from
of lesson planning but also in his arguments for a vaguely defined affordance-based approach to this task. In this article, I re-examine these central issues in lesson planning and related teacher education provision. I first examine Anderson’s (ibid.) views in relation to three fundamental but inappropriately or insufficiently addressed issues in lesson planning: the ends–means relationship between outcomes and learning opportunities; what Anderson (op.cit.) sees as the units of
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