'How Does This Affect Me?' Fair Lesson Planning and Authentic Classroom Understanding
Post, Benjamin R.
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America and its people are changing. And with them, so do America’s Public schools. While school vouchers and private education have stolen headlines from statefunded institutions, a small movement has slowly built steam in the teaching community. That is the concept of fair and relevant classroom understanding, with an emphasis on authentic learning opportunities for a diverse student population. The goal behind authentic classrooms is to allow students’ interests to influence lesson planning; the idea being that if the format for what students learn is framed by their interests, they will retain more information. For my SIP, I attempted to model a fair and relevant classroom while interning in English and Social Studies at HS Middle School. I began my research by looking at previous literature on the topic of authentic education, then used that information to form lesson plans that I felt would interest my students. To gauge their interest in my lesson plans, I handed out surveys that allowed them to judge how well the lesson plan went and whether or not they found the lesson plans interesting. What I found from the student surveys and my lesson plan assessment was that students were more interested in lesson plans that accessed their own interests and previous knowledge, but perhaps more importantly, students responded to activities that were enjoyable and teaching techniques that were varied and creative.