In my blog post last week “Challenges In Innovative Technologies” I wrote about my experiences giving feedback on the work of my colleagues from multiple perspectives. The first lens I used while providing feedback was Universal Design for Learning and the second was Intersectionality. At the same time, they were also providing feedback related to my draft of a Learning Experience.
I started my week digging into the feedback provided and weighing the suggestions from my colleagues against my vision of the final learning experience. The feedback was very helpful and gave me new perspectives to work from. Perspectives that I hadn’t considered yet. In the following screenshot, you’ll see that my colleague had questions about the prior knowledge of the students, how they would learn the necessary skills to complete the project, and how in-depth the knowledge of circuits would be for the students.
All of the concerns pointed to areas that needed more thorough explanation in the final iteration of the learning experience.
I still didn’t feel that I was ready to start the final rewrite of my learning experience. Intersectionality had really struck a chord with me, and I wanted to understand it even more thoroughly from an education perspective. Conducting research was the natural next step, so I spent time reading research articles about Intersectionality and how it impacts the educational environment. While I was at it, I also followed another path of curiosity toward creativity as it relates to STEAM.
Finally, I sat down at the laptop and brought the learning plan up. A huge concern for me as I read through the lesson was that as educational professionals “continue to construct disability as unidimensional, they continue to contribute to the master narrative of disability that shames and marginalizes” (Hernandes, Gutman & Cannon, 2018). It was imperative that I think about the WHOLE student as I revised my plan.
I worked my way through from beginning to end making improvements. I started by adding an expanded schedule of events. Instead of just stating that the lesson would take 10 days, I broke it down by the number of days each section should take. This will be helpful to students who need the understanding up front of what lies ahead. Also, in this picture, you will see that I included a list of prerequisite skills so the project should only be assigned to students who already have the proper skills to be successful.
The next change was adding a coversheet and blank cake form for the students to use while they designed their cake. The cover sheet gives details that are required for the project. The items they must incorporate to be successful. The blank cake form is just a page with an outline of a cake on it. The students are expected to make a colorful representation of what they expect their final cake to look like, from 2 sides, on these pages. From experience, I know that when working together in a group on such a large project the students need to sketch out the final design first, so everyone knows from the start what the goal is. This leads to tension in the group later on during cake production. The questions from my colleague reminded me that I need to put these items on the learning plan to make it clear.
The last change was the addition of a class critique of the final cakes. You can find the details of this addition by reading my learning plan “Fondant Cake Decorating: Can We Make a Cake Light Up?”.
One thing that I still need to work on was inspired by my research into creativity and STEAM. “in nurturing and developing creativity, teachers, administrators, and schools must approach creativity within education by developing an interdisciplinary transferral of competences” (Harris & de Bruin, 2017). I have set a goal to connect with the science teachers in the district to work collaboratively in the future with the circuits. This is evidence that even when we think our learning plan is perfected there is always more work to do to keep it current. Lesson planning should never become static.
Harris, A. & de Bruin, L (2017). Secondary school creativity, teacher practice and STEAM education: An international study. Journal of Educational Change, 19(2), 153-179. https://link-springer-com.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/article/10.1007%2Fs10833-017-9311-2#enumeration
Hernández-Saca, D. I., Gutmann Kahn, L., & Cannon, M. A. (2018). Intersectionality Dis/ability Research: How Dis/ability Research in Education Engages Intersectionality to Uncover the Multidimensional Construction of Dis/abled Experiences. Review of Research in Education, 42(1), 286–311. https://doi.org/10.3102/0091732X18762439