For week 7 in EDU 6526, we read Chapter 9, Generating and Testing Hypothesis, in Classrooom Instruction That Works, by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone. We also used the companion book a Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works, by Pitler & Stone, to self-assess our current performance in creating opportunities for our students that require them to generate and test hypothesis.
In self-assessing my-self in this area of instruction, I would have to give myself a very low score. Unfortunately, I was not able to provide my learners with opportunities to generate and test hypothesis during my student teaching in World Geography. I am disappointed that I was unable to provide the opportunity for my students to work more with their own thoughts on the content material. Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, state that I could do this in the classroom through “system analysis, problem solving, experimental inquiry, and investigation” (p138).
For one of my lessons on green energy, I first introduced some of the more standard green energies. We made list of the pros and cons for each one and then, as a class, the students chose one that we should install at our school. In the process, we worked as a class to put together a loose letter we would send to the principal to pitch our idea. The students were doing some good thinking with the material, but that was the end of the lesson. I could have, as the text suggest, facilitated the students in doing more in depth research as to their choice by having them, “try your solution, either in reality or through simulation” (p140). There are some schools in the area that already have solar panels, we could have contacted them. There might also be schools that might have other sources in action, we could have performed more of an investigation to find out what some other schools are already doing. This would have taken more time, but it would have created a great chance for the students to do research, and potentially make connections with students at other schools, in essence breaking down walls.
A classmate of mine also commented on how effective these strategies would be in teaching about consequences for behavior. In the self-contained room that I was a part of last year, the students had a course that dealt with social skills. If I were teaching a class on social skills, there is some great material to use with the students to have them create dialogue around different challenging situations they may have encountered, experience, or are concerned about.
As a special education instructor, I will be trying to facilitate my students in utilizing their strengths in order to reach their educational goals. However, I would also like to impart skills that will enable them to be able to navigate the complexities of the modern world. As Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone write, “What we ultimately want students to be able to do is find issues that are important to them, gather as much information as possible from a wide variety of resources that represent various viewpoints and motivations, and test- to the best of their abilities-the viability of these claims in order to inform their own decisions” (p149). I hope to be able to create these higher level thinking opportunities by building relationships, utilizing strengths, and providing the proper amount of scaffolding to enhance my students’ abilities to be critical thinkers.
Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B. (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.
2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Pitler, H. & Stone, B. (2012) A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. 2nd edition. Alexandria,
VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.