Building a Lesson Plan: Structuring the GoalsJune 28, 2018
The aims and goals of lesson plans should not just focus on informing learners that life during either Stalinism or the state socialism that was a guiding ideology of Yugoslavia was also a very unique experience for several of the countries in 1945 – 1991. Even further — our learners should become able both to differentiate the attributes and manifestations of state socialism in Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria from that of Yugoslavia and to discover the ways in which they were similar.
Our lesson plans should offer fruitful soil for learners to brainstorm on various terms, such as those mentioned in the previous blog, but also on others. Within this context, brainstorming should be interpreted as a synonym for the plethora of ideas emerging from students during the time of actual learning in the classroom. However, one should bear in mind that students, before being introduced to Stalinism and state socialism, need to acquire at least general information about the social and historical conditions preceding the October Revolution in the Russian Empire and the People’s Liberation War in Yugoslavia.
They could refer, for example, to explorations of what is property and/or ownership, how we can determine who holds the right to possess something and on what basis, before we introduce students with the historical and background material and follow up activities, based on, for instance, methods of cooperative learning. It should be added that lesson plans should insist on the development of an independent inquiry in each of the learners too, despite the fact that the method of cooperative learning would engage them in the construction of a group answer in the first place. It would be interesting to compare learners’ answers and to determine variations and similarities in their findings. While, for example, investigating and reflecting on different sources, learners should strive to answer to open–ended questions such as:
- How can we determine what is right and what is wrong?
- What factors play a crucial role in determining the accuracy and validity of historical sources?
- On the basis of what condition we can define that a certain historical period or event is more important in comparison with another one?
The main goal of raising open-ended questions is to elicit learners’ curiosity and creativity and to encourage them to communicate with each other while trying to construct answers. The proposed list of questions is not prescriptive, of course.
The problem-solving activities that we engage students in should also be followed with questions for an open discussion. We should pay attention to the emotions that might appear during the learning process, and we should always ask our learners how they feel during the activities proposed within lesson plans and offer emotional support if needed. It’s not to be forgotten that holistic lesson planning also requires the incorporation of behavioral objectives.