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Designing, Teaching and Learning 1

Effective teachers strive to motivate and engage all their students regardless of how
diverse they are (Department of Education and Training, 2009). A lesson plan is
extremely necessary for an effective teacher, as it serves as a guide to meet both the
teacher and students goals. It is crucial for a teacher to have a clear understanding
and to take into consideration the following: what to teach, in what order, and for how
long. There are four factors that focus on the teachers decision making and the effect
they have on educational planning. These include the syllabus, the diverse learning
needs, previous assessment data and the Australian National Professional Standards
for Teachers. This essay will further explore these factors and critically analyze a
stage four lesson plan.

Syllabus
The Australian Curriculum sets the expectations for what, when and how all
Australian students should be taught, regardless of how diverse they are (ACARA,
2013). Teachers that are familiar with the curriculum have been found to be more
effective when programming and planning a lesson (OBrian, 2009, p. 48). The
curriculums main purpose is to outline the subjects that need to be taught and provide
methods to ensure every student has learned the content. The syllabus is another
crucial document that falls underneath the curriculum. It focuses on providing a
thorough list on what needs to be taught within a specific subject. Every state within
Australia has a different syllabus; hence it is important that the teachers are aware of
this. For example, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards
(BOSTES) produce the syllabus for New South Wales (BOSTES, 2015). The syllabus
is an outline and summary of content that needs to be covered in a lesson. This
framework provides a list of learning outcomes that summarise the essential content,
skills and values for all students in order to help them succeed. Furthermore, by
providing teachers a guide to follow when creating a lesson plan, it allows the
students to maximise their overall achievement (Dominowski, 2012, p. 18). Hence,
the syllabus plays a major role when creating an effective lesson plan.

Diverse Learner Needs


The concept of diversity refers to accepting and respecting individual differences.
These are formed through a variety of cultural and social factors, including:
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backgrounds and experiences, religion, language, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and
socio economic status (Cole, 2008, p. 30). It is extremely common for a class to
have a diverse cohort, causing groups to become marginalized. Students whom are
excluded due to their diverse learning needs are most likely to lack self efficacy,
motivation, learning capabilities and a sense of identity (Theoharis & Scanlan, 2015).
Therefore, it is crucial that the teacher is aware of these diverse student-learning
needs, in order to help create a safe and comfortable environment for all of them
regardless of how different they are. For example, a study conducted by Dodds et al.
(2010, p. 521) found that refugee students are being marginalized due to their literacy
levels. Consequently, an effective teacher would incorporate a section in the lesson
plan that focuses on these students learning abilities, rather than having one classwork
for everyone. Inclusive teachers acknowledge the fact that students have diverse
learning needs, hence create a lesson that challenges each student while achieving
their personal goals. Such goals are achieved through the teacher becoming aware of
their own teaching styles, the strategies incorporated in the lesson plan whether they
are successful, personal biases and their overall knowledge (Theoharis & Scanlan,
2015). Overall, it is critical for the teacher to create an engaging and safe environment
for all the students in order to have the most successful lesson.

Assessment Data
An effective teacher will consider the students previous assessment data when
designing a lesson plan. Assessment data may include: student performance,
understanding, skill development and the overall knowledge on the content.
Traditionally, assessments are used to measure the students overall learned
content/skills and whether they are meeting the standards set by the teacher (Renshaw
et al., 2013, p. 9). Recording both formative and summative assessment data provides
teachers with information on how effective their strategies have been, time needed for
instruction, the students level and how to improve their teaching style in order allow
the students to improve. For example, teachers from New South Wales use the data
collected from the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy
(NAPLAN) to identify the students learning abilities while designing a lesson plan
that accommodates for everyone. It is extremely crucial that the teacher avoids
assumptions that all students have met the syllabus expectations; hence the teacher
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should have background knowledge on each student beforehand (Duflo et al., 2009, p.
66). This can be done during the first lesson through the use of small group works or a
pop quiz. Vygotskys theory in my teaching further supports this, as he believes in the
Zone of Proximal Development the gap between what the teacher and student
knows (Slavin, 2012, p. 47). In order to move past this zone, it is the teachers job to
use scaffolding learning and provide a support system around learning (Slavin, 2012,
p. 47). Therefore, recording assessment data is part of a cycle that benefits teachers
when planning a lesson or evaluating what the students have learned.

National Professional Standards for Teachers


The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has developed
the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. These Standards aim to provide a
framework to further improve the profession of teaching by providing consistent
benchmarks for teaching practice and performance, and by increasing the consistency
of teacher quality across Australia (The University of Melbourne, 2016). Furthermore,
the standards are divided into three areas of teaching: professional knowledge,
professional practice and professional engagement (AITSL, 2014). It is then expected
not only by the school but the community as well, for the teachers to meet these
requirements. It is particularly important that an effective teacher is constantly
working along these standards, in order to provide the most successful learning
environment for the students.

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Stage 4 PDHPE Lesson Plan Analysis

Syllabus
Teaching young people about health and the concept of risk is crucial as it prepares
them for real life situations. The lesson plan focuses on teaching stage four, strand
three of the syllabus, which looks into the Individual and Community part of health.
The outcome this lesson aims to achieve is:
Outcome 4.6: student describes the nature of health and analyses how health
issues may have an impact on young people (Board of Studies, p. 26).
In this lesson, students are looking deeply into the topic drug use, while focusing on
a specific drug, tobacco. Once again, the lesson takes into consideration what the
syllabus is expecting to be taught within a lesson:
Students learn about: drug use short term and long-term effects of drugs on
health and wellbeing (Board of Studies, p. 27).
Students learn to: describe the short term and long-term effects of tobacco
(Board of Studies, p. 27).
These outcomes are achieved through touching up on background knowledge, reading
from a textbook and further expanding their knowledge on the topic of drugs.
Therefore, it is evident throughout the lesson plan that the syllabus is taken into
consideration in order to have a productive and beneficial lesson.

Diverse Learner Needs


The lesson has failed to provide differentiated activities to meet all students abilities
and needs. It primarily focuses on two activities that both focus on summarizing the
content within that chapter. As mentioned previously, students are bound to be diverse
hence an effective lesson plan should incorporate scaffolds and additional activities to
accommodate for all students. Incorporating these additional activities will create an
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inclusive environment and prevent marginalization (Bellanca & Brandt, 2013, p. 251).
Piaget believes that for a child to best succeed the teacher must provide a childcentered curriculum (Verenikina, 2008, p. 164). This concept is extremely important
for diverse learners, as it allows them to become self motivated learners.
Incorporating a short video at the beginning of the lesson can create a diverse learning
environment as students are being challenged to use their visual and listening skills.
Also, for students whom English is not their primary language will struggle with the
current activities as they lack the basic skills of summarizing a heavy content
textbook. Therefore, having a scaffold that still focuses on the same topic will allow
these students not to feel excluded and overall help them feel comfortable and want to
participate.

Assessment Data
There is no evidence that the lesson plan takes into consideration previous assessment
data. However, one can argue that the teacher does start the lesson with a quick
revision on previous learnings. Though no assessment data has been used to
determine where the students stand within this topic, the revision helps identify which
student understands the topic and which one is struggling. This is classified as
informal date collection (Hoekstra et al., 2010, p. 193). The way the lesson has been
structured, it is not necessary to have the students assessment data collected, as all
they are doing is copying from a textbook. However, because health education plays a
vital role in young people, the teacher must always be aware of where her students are
at within both the current class and overall understanding. Therefore, for this type of
lesson, I would recommend a quick game based quiz towards the end of the lesson, to
both engage the students and find out if they have learned what the syllabus had
stated. The answers to this quiz will determine whether the teachers lesson has been
successful or if he/she will need to adapt different strategies to gain the understanding
of the whole class.

National Professional Standards for Teachers


There are four Australian professional standards for teachers that have been reached in
this lesson plan, they include:

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1.1.1

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and

intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may


affect learning (AITSL, 2014).
4.1.1

Identifies strategies to incorporate inclusiveness within the activities

(AITSL, 2014).
4.2.1

Organise activities for the lesson and provide clear and concise directions

(AITSL, 2014).
5.1.1

Develops informal assessment strategy to assess student learning (AITSL,

2014).
Standards 1.1.1 and 4.1.1 have been successfully met throughout the lesson plan, as
the teacher allows students to work in groups to prevent isolation and increase selfefficacy. Also, standard 4.2.1 is shown throughout the lesson as activities are well
organised and instructions on what to do is clear and concise. Lastly, standard 5.1.1 is
seen at the beginning of the lesson, where the teacher asks students to recall on
previous knowledge on that specific topic. Therefore, the lesson plan takes the
Australian professional standards for teachers into consideration.

Conclusion
In order for a class to have an effective educator and teaching practice, it is necessary
to always plan, keep a document and evaluate a students overall learning. During the
planning section, the teacher must ensure the lesson has followed both the Australian
curriculum and the syllabus while considered the various factors. Therefore, the
teacher must take into consideration the syllabus to confirm that the students are being
taught the correct content. Also, being aware of all the diverse learning needs allows
the lesson to become inclusive and avoid marginalizing students. Recording
assessment data helps the teacher to be aware of where each student stands and
determine how effective their strategies/style have been. Lastly, the Australian
professional standards for Teachers will allow the teacher to have an extremely
successful lesson plan that allows everyone to meet their goals. Therefore, by
applying all these factors in a lesson plan, there is no doubt that the lesson will be
effective and beneficial.

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Reference
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Learning Authority. (2013). Curriculum.
Retrieved March 20, 2016, from:
http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/curriculum.html
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2014). Australian
Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from:
http://www.aitsl.edu.au
Bellanca, J. A., & Brandt, R. S. (2010). 21st century skills: Rethinking how students
learn. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards. (2016). Syllabuses. Retrieved
March 20, 2016, from: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabuses/
Board of Studies. (2013, July). Personal Development, Health and Physical
Education Years 7-10. Retrieved March 18, 2016, from:
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_sc/pdf_doc/pdhpe-7-10-syllabus.pdf
Cole, R. (2008). Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for
Diverse Learners, Revised and Expanded (2nd ed.). Alexandria, Virginia, VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Department of Education and Training. (2009). Effective Teaching. Retrieved March
20, 2016, from:
http://www.det.wa.edu.au/policies/detcms/cmsservice/download/asset/?
asset_id=6321214
Dodds, A., Lawrence, J., Karantzas, K., Brooker, A., Lin, Y., Champness, V., &
Albert, N. (2010). Children of Somali refugees in Australian schools: Selfdescriptions of school-related skills and needs. International Journal of Behavioral
Development, 34(6), 521-528. doi:10.1177/0165025410365801

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Dominowski, R. L. (2012). Course Planning. In Teaching undergraduates (p. 18).
Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.
Duflo, E., Dupas, P., & Kremer, M. (2009). Can Tracking Improve
Learning?. Education Next,9(3), 64-70. Retrieved from
http://educationnext.org/tracking-improve-learning/
Hoekstra, A., Beijaard, D., Brekelmans, M., & Korthagen, F. (2010). Experienced
teachers' informal learning from classroom teaching. Teachers and Teaching, 13(2),
191-208. doi:10.1080/13540600601152546
OBrian, J.G., Millis, B.J., Cohen, M.W. (2009) The course syllabus: A learning
centred approach (2nd Ed.) San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Theoharis, G., & Scanlan, M. (2015). Leadership for Increasingly Diverse Schools.
New York, Routledge: Taylor & Francis.
Renshaw, P., Baroutsis, A., van Kraayenoord, C., Goos, M., and Dole, S. (2013).
Teachers using classroom data well: Identifying key features of effective practices.
Final report. Brisbane: The University of Queensland.
Slavin, R. E. (2012). Theory into practice. In Educational psychology: Theory and
practice(10th ed., p. 47). 6 n7Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Verenikina, I. (2008). Scaffolding and learning: its role in nurturing new learners.
Wollongong, Australia: Research Online. Retrieved from:
http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1043&context=edupapers

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Appendix: PDHPE Lesson Plan

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