You are on page 1of 13

Lesson Plan Title: Dialectical Evaluation

Date: [February 26]

Subject: Law30 Grade: 11-12 (depending on class registrants)

Topic: Using and Understanding Dialectical Evaluation

Essential Question: How can we critically assess criminal laws and specific cases to evaluate
whether they and their outcomes are valid and reasonable?

Estimated duration of lesson: 2-3 hour-long class periods (including allotted time for stu-
dents to complete the summative assessment portion of this lesson)

Materials: links to youtube videos (impaired driving PSA’s), xerox’d copies of the modified
Handout 2.4 (attached below UBD outline), whiteboard and markers to highlight lesson
roadmap for students and provide visual representations of discussions or concepts if student
should require, students will need looseleaf to complete summative assessment at the end
of the lesson, tablets/computers for in-class research (or booked time in computer lab)

Stage 1- Desired Results – you may use student friendly language


What do they need to understand, know, and/or able to do?

Following this lesson students should understand the concept of dialectic evaluation and why it is
important in our understandings of Canada’s laws and the outcomes of criminal cases. Students
will need to understand that dialectic evaluation is a process of thinking that helps us understand
why laws are in place in given societies. Students should also be able to know and use the 5 steps
outlined in the modified version of handout 2.4 as a guide for effective dialectical evaluation.
Following the lesson and a teacher-led example using these 5 steps to examine impaired driving
laws, students should be able to complete an evaluation on their own (this will require students to
choose a law and follow the 5 steps to determine whether a law is reasonable and effective).

“Common Essential Learnings” (as per terminology in the Law30 curriculum. Updated curriculum
could morph these essential learnings to fit categories similar to the updated BAL’s and CCC’s, as
they are mentioned below):

- Critical and Creative Thinking: this lesson will have students understand and utilize critical skills
of evaluation. This will help grow their abilities to translate learned information critically and
creatively into usable strategies.
- Communication: students will gain ability in this skill area as they explore their reasoning behind
their evaluations and learn how to articulate their understandings of specific Canadian laws and
their effectiveness/reasonability

Broad Areas of Learning:


- Building a sense of self and community: as students learn to examine, analyze, and understand
the social order in their own communities they will be able to better connect to their
environments.
- Building engaged citizens: in exploring the reasonability and effectiveness of Canadian laws
students will be prompted to justify their beliefs and opinions on Canadian law. This can either
prompt justified agreement or objection with/to a law. This will, ideally, spark students’
interest and involvement in political and judicial happenings.

Cross-Curricular Competencies:

- Developing Thinking: Having students analyze Canadian law with learned strategies (such as
dialectical evaluation) encourages the application of learned information to real-life situations
in students.
- Developing Literacies: Students ability to critically analyze their environments and political
systems will be furthered.
- Developing Social Responsibility: As students learn to critically evaluate the laws in place around
them they will begin to understand the importance engaging in municipal, provincial, and
federal injustices and processes.

Outcome(s): (split/outlined somewhat differently due to the outdated curriculum)


Foundational Objectives:

1) Apply criteria as a basis for testing models


2) Apply dialectical reasoning skills in making decisions

Core Learning Objectives:


1) “Skills/Abilities Objectives: Apply skills of Dialectical Evaluation (p. 75)

- defining relevant viewpoints within the information

- testing the view points for factual accuracy

- testing the viewpoints for their morality

- evaluating the factual and moral testing

- forming a conclusion about the issues”

2) “Appreciate that the outcome of any evaluation is dependent upon the criteria selected as the
basis for making judgments” (p. 75)

3) “Develop and Apply criteria as a basis for coming to conclusions” (p. 75)

PGP Goals:
1.3- This lesson relies heavily on activating students in their abilities to create meaningful social
change and contributions to their surroundings. This push to social justice and engagement will
also be emphasized through an “inclusive and equitable environment” modelled within the
classroom. It will also prompt me, or any teacher using this lesson plan, to remain up-to-date with
social justice happenings in order to incorporate these issues/events into the lesson.
2.6- This lesson prompts students and teachers to learn more about the law and the reasoning
behind it. It can prompt deeper thought into our beliefs about existing laws and make us aware of
changes in laws as well.
3.2 This lesson aims to use a variety of instructional strategies such as verbal lecture style,
formula for transfer of evaluation skills, exemplars, etc.
4.1 Using this somewhat outdated Law30 curriculum expands understandings of Saskatchewan
curriculum goals and objectives in lesson and unit planning.

Stage 2- Assessment
Assessment FOR Learning (formative) Assess the students during the learning to help determine
next steps.

On a class-wide scale, students will be assessed throughout the lesson as teacher gages whether or
not students are grasping concepts throughout lecture and class discussions. This will be
accomplished through regular Thumb-up/middle/down class-wide checks, watching students’ body
language, classroom polls, and/or questioning the class to see where they’re at in understanding.

More individually, students will be formatively assessed through teacher incorporation of think-
pair-share activities (which will be used to break up periods of verbal lecture to a) keep students
engaged in the information being presented and b) allow them to make connections throughout
the lesson as opposed to asking them to relate to the lesson at the end). Exit slips can also be
taken at the end of daily periods, assuming that this lesson will span over several class periods.

Assessment OF Learning (summative) Assess the students after learning to evaluate what they
have learned.

Following the teacher-led evaluation of Canada’s euthanasia laws, students will be asked to
complete and hand-in a dialectical evaluation of a Canada’s impaired driving laws. This exercise
will mimic one done in-class in which everyone participated. Students may pull from their quick-
writes to remember the videos and incorporate their beliefs and feelings towards these laws. They
will then be asked to use the 5 steps of dialectical evaluation (outlined in modified handout2.4) to
critically evaluate the laws.
Stage 3- Learning Plan

Motivational/Anticipatory Set (introducing topic while engaging the students)

- Teacher will begin lesson by showing an ad regarding avoiding impaired driving. (1min clip) Link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56b09ZyLaWk

- Teacher will then show a second ad for prevention of impaired driving that is less optimistic and
more realistic- focusing on the victims of impaired driving. (30s clip) Link: https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5caETZEVd0

- Students will be asked to complete a 5-minute quick write (on looseleaf) about their reactions
to the videos. Guiding questions to write about if you can't think of anything to write: How did
the videos make you feel? Can you relate them to anything in the news or current events? Did
you find differences between the two videos- were there messages the same? Which video
evoked more of an emotional response from you?

- Students will be advised to keep these quick-writes as they will be used later on (for a
summative assessment piece)

- A brief explanation of these PSA’s will be given to students and the teacher will open the floor
for students to share anything if they so desire.

Main Procedures/Strategies:

- Teacher will offer students a brief outline of the lesson’s goals in a list written on the
whiteboard. Outline that we will learn about dialectical evaluation which is a way to determine
if laws are reasonable and effective. We will discuss 5 steps that can be used as a guideline to
perform dialectical evaluation. Then we will evaluate Canada's euthanasia laws using this 5-step
method.

- Teacher will begin content of lesson by reviewing the concepts of moral testing from a previous
lesson as it correlates highly with dialectical evaluation; they go hand-in-hand in reaching a
judgement about a law’s validity and justification. Following teacher prompt, students should be
able to offer a summary in their own words of the main tenets of moral testing (that moral
testing provides a basis for making moral choices, understanding the difference between right
and wrong and what implications actions in these categories can have, and how to use the 3
outlined strategies- The New Cases Test, The Role Exchange Test, and The Universal
Consequences Test- to decide whether something is moral)

- Teacher will use a combination of lecture style with class discussion and questioning to discuss
what dialectical evaluation is: A critical process used to look at issues (laws, in this case) and
determine whether we think they are reasonable and effective. It’s a way of examining our
country’s systems and processed to determine if we think they are fair, moral, and whether or
not they actually work at preventing criminal activity and consequences.

- Teacher will then handout modified handout 2.4 which outlines 5 steps to perform dialectical
evaluation. Each step will be discussed so it is clear what the steps each mean and why they are
important.
- Teacher will then break from lecture and ask students to use a device (in-class computers/
tablets or a computer lab if it was able to be booked ahead of time) to research Canada’s
euthanasia laws. They will be provided this link as a starting point. They will be given 15
minutes to come up with a working definition of these laws. Class will then reconvene and share
what they learned about these laws. http://eol.law.dal.ca/?page_id=238

- The teacher will then lead a group exercise in which the class and teacher work together to
perform the 5 steps of dialectical evaluation on Canada’s euthanasia laws.

- Teacher will then refer back to the videos shown at the beginning of class and proceed by asking
students what they know about Canadian impaired driving laws (a brief class discussion can
emerge here provided that teacher is mindful about keeping conversation concise) and will then
summarize the main tenets of these laws to ensure everyone is on the same page. (Link to
Canada’s impaired driving laws provided by MADD- http://madd.ca/pages/impaired-driving/
stopping-impaired-driving/impaired-driving-laws/)

- Teacher will then introduce their assignment: to use the 5 steps to evaluate Canada's impaired
driving laws. They will be given class time to complete the assignment (approximately 1 class
period) and will hand it in.

Adaptations/Differentiation:

Adaptations can be made for students who require more time by either providing additional time,
or extending the hand-in date for the assignment.

Should a student require additional explanation due to a behavioural, attentional, or cognitive


exceptionality, the opportunity to work in partners or groups of 3 will be offered to the whole
class as not to single anyone out (provided an E.A. is not already assigned to help this student).

EAL students can be given additional research time or one-to-one instruction with the teacher
during the class work-period accompanied by an extended due date as not to take away work-time
allotted for the assignment. Assistive technology will also be welcomed and encouraged if the
need exists.

Gifted students would be given the opportunity to choose a law of their own on which to complete
a dialectical evaluation if they felt they had additional class time during the work period. They
could also be challenged by being asked to adapt their evaluation strategy to include additional
viewpoints, prompting them to analyze issues from more than just two viewpoints. They could
also be asked to work on a creative critical component to their dialectical evaluation such as a
policy change or letter to important persons to communicate their feelings regarding a certain
law. This would allow them to engage more deeply with the material without simply providing
them with additional busywork.

Closing of lesson:

- To close, the teacher will ask students to share (if they feel comfortable doing so) their opinions
on Canada’s impaired driving laws. Do we feel that these laws are reasonable? Are these laws
effective at preventing people from drinking and driving? Discussion can be steered by teacher if
necessary.
Personal Reflection:

I chose to include links to both the updated BAL’s and CCC’s and what I thought were similar ideas
directly from the old curriculum. In linking these to both the updated terminology goals and the out-
dated outlines I hope to justify my planning as it needs to meet the goals of the old curriculum while
still learning to focus on the updated BAL’s and CCC’s that I will need to be cognizant of in my ap-
proaching teaching career.

I am realizing how difficult it would be to teach an entire course from this old curriculum. I love this
course and what it offers but can now see why so many teachers struggle to complete everything
outlined in one course. Even just looking at Unit Two from the Law30 curriculum was overwhelming
in attempting to narrow the content to fit in one realistically structured unit plan.

I considered using the case of the Van de Vorst family to link with the analogy of impaired driving
laws, but decided against this specific case as an explicit focus of my lesson. While I think it offers
tangible realities of the reasoning behind impaired driving laws I decided it is still too recent and
close-to-home to be presented as hardened fact in class. While I realize that this course sometimes
elicits sensitive subjects to help students practically apply what they are learning, I just didn’t think
it would be appropriate yet to include this example in my lesson plan. If the case arises in conversa-
tion organically, however, I would address it sensitively yet critically with the class to discuss the
events and outcomes. I think that in allowing room for this case to be naturally brought up by the
students can eliminate my forcing it onto students who may not yet be comfortable with it.

I wanted to use Handout 2.4 from the curriculum as a handout/exercise for students throughout the
lesson to help make connections between concepts and practical evaluation, however I felt a modi-
fied version of the provided handout better suited the focus of the lesson in a more concise manner. I
combined/paraphrased/and streamlined the 8 steps outlined in the provided handout into 5 steps.
This still allows me to rely on the provided resources from the curriculum to reach the outcome
goals, but this modification provides a more concrete guideline for students who may struggle to
grasp and reign in the lengthy and abstract steps in the original handout.

M. Wilkinson ’16 *Adapted from Understanding by Design (McTighe and Wiggins, 1998)

Modified Handout 2.4- The Process of Dialectical Evaluation

Step 1) Identify an issue to be evaluated and outline the opposing views within this issue

(for example what are the arguments made by individuals who argue for abortion versus the

arguments made by individuals who argue against it)

Step 2) Learn as much as you can from as many sources as you can about each different view within

the issue.

(Be mindful of your own bias; don’t allow your research to be affected by what you believe.)

Step 3) Use the moral testing strategies and test the morality of each side.

Step 4) Determine whether each side is grounded in factual proof. Is there evidence to support the

validity of each side of the issue?

Step 5) Form a judgement by critically analyzing what you have learned in the first 4 steps. Identify

your personal conclusion

(Be sure to test your conclusion for moral reasoning and factual proof)

Adapted from Handout 2.4 in SK Law 30 curriculum and the following link: http://individual.utoron-

to.ca/ecolak/EBM/evidence_and_eikos/models_of_argumentation/walton/walton.htm

Write up/Reflection

I chose to create a lesson plan for dialectical evaluation because it plays such a foundational role

in the understandings that will take place throughout the criminal law unit. Encouraging students to take

part in an on-going critical analysis of the systems around them (in academia and in their own personal

lives) allows them to relate what they are learning in class to the world around them. It is my hope that -

should I ever get to teach this course (and this lesson in specific)- the way I have structured the introduc-

tion to such an abstract process can spark something in students that makes them want to think critically

about the world around them.

The lesson I have planned closely follows the Law30 curriculum (despite the lengthy and some-

times confusing list of outcomes with differing terminology from updated curriculum), as it ties nicely

into several large-scale outcomes and several more specific outcomes (as outlined in the UBD under

“foundational objectives” and “core learning objectives”). The instructional strategies outlined for the

execution of this lesson aim to offer engagement to all students with differing learning styles (using lec-

ture style transfer of information, videos, outlines and visuals written on the whiteboard, and hands-on

experience in getting students to research Canadian law themselves) and that also tie into some of the

overarching objectives for Unit 2 of the Law30 outcome (including the common essential learning

“technology literacy”, for example). The outline I provide students near the beginning of the instruction-

al portion of the lesson make my objectives clear and allow students to anticipate where their learning

will take them. In addressing criteria 4 in our rubric, I have provided everything that would be necessary

to teach this lesson tomorrow (aside from copious looseleaf for my students to write their assignments

on). The only thing hindering the cohesion of the present lesson plan is those that must precede it such

as the plan for a lesson on moral testing which is referenced but which I have not yet taught or meticu-
lous planned as of yet. However the absence of a completed unit plan or accompanying lesson plans

does not limit the readiness of the present unit plan, as it assumes a preface.

By utilizing formative assessment strategies such as class polls, exit slips, thumbs-up/down, and

more outlined in the UBD, I would be able to gage the level of understanding my class has and either

proceed or explain the current concept in a new way. The flexibility offered in my mentioned formative

assessment strategies allow this lesson to be teach-able to any range of class, whether the class is com-

prised of AP students, grade 11 or 12 students, some weaker or struggling students, students with excep-

tionalities, or a mixture of all of the above. Because the formative assessments are not hardened to the

content the teacher could maneuver whatever demographic the classroom offers.

In anticipating adaptations/differentiations for all students who may be part of my class I wanted

to be sure that I was not crossing the line between adaptation and modification, which has admittedly

proven to be a tricky line to discern for teacher candidates. By offering students subjectivity and free-

dom in completing their summative assessment piece I hope to cater to yet challenge each student to an

appropriate level. Throughout the lesson strategies such as think-pair-share, individual research, and

questioning/class discussion can also aid in offering additional explanation or different viewpoints of

understanding to the students in the class with different levels of understanding. This is a category in

which I admittedly struggle to articulate when I do not have a specific group of students in mind, but I

believe I have provided adaptations to help students at varying levels to succeed.

With the videos to start off the lesson, the use of controversial laws, the incorporation of discus-

sion, use of technology, and high opportunity for personal connection to the topics, I anticipate that stu-

dents will be engaged with the content. The topic of dialectical evaluation alone does not sound intrigu-

ing, and I assume many students would proceed to memorize definitions if the lesson were left to such
abstract jargon, therefore my incorporation of the afore-listed media and controversy aim to bring these

critical concepts into the realm of high school students. The way in which the students would engage

and interact with the content of the lesson also lends itself well to necessary literacies in the social sci-

ences and humanities. Advances in literacies relating to technology, communication, critical thinking,

application of theory to real-life situations, and engagement with politics/judicial systems are some of

the areas in which students can be expected to grow following this lesson.

For these reasons I feel that each of the criteria has reached or come close to reaching a level 5

evaluation. While some areas could be seen as level-4 I believe that is appropriate for my level of

progress through the college of education. I don’t think it is yet realistic for me to have mastered the

craft of planning to perfection, but I do think that I have demonstrated thorough understandings, pre-

paredness, and potential for adaptive flexibility in the present lesson plan. I already feel infinitely more

prepared and confident in this product than I felt in assignment 1 which shows my dedication to contin-

ue to better my understandings of the aspects of this profession. My understanding of the way old cur-

ricula intersects with and compares to updated curricula is something that I continue to struggle with,

especially where terminology is concerned. While this is something that I can work harder to understand

I do hope that my concern will be alleviated once an outcome-indicator style is brought to all of the

Saskatchewan Curricula. I am also torn between being more concise and leaving substantial detail (pre-

tending I am leaving a plan for a sub) throughout my plan. I recognize that this is a lengthy document

but could not decide where it would be appropriate to cut out detail. Granted, if a sub were to be teach-

ing this lesson I would most likely not include the reflections or details surrounding BAL’s, CCC’s, or

PGP’s, but this is still an area in which I need to deepen my understanding.

Therefore, for all of these described reasons I would grade myself along the following lines:
- level 5 on criteria 2, 3, 4, 5,

- level 4 on criteria 1, 14, 15, 16

- level 3 on criteria 7

rough notes: from Curriculum + outside resources

Skills/Abilities Objectives: apply skills of Dialectical Evaluation (p. 75)

- defining relevant viewpoints within the information

- testing the view points for factual accuracy

- testing the viewpoints for their morality (another skills/abilities objective: apply moral tests of:
role exchange, universal consequences, new cases p. 75)

- evaluating the factual and moral testing

- forming a conclusion about the issues

Values Objectives:

“Appreciate that the outcome of any evaluation is dependent upon the criteria selected as the basis
for making judgments” & “understand that the criminal law reflects moral values and social policy
objectives in the context of the society in which it operates” (both p. 75)

p 84- Student Handout 2.4: The Process of Dialectical Evaluation

Exercise Idea (p. 75)

- Have students reflect on impaired driving laws. Engage in dialectical reasoning exercise to answer
the question; “Are the Canadian impaired driving laws effective?”

Issues to think about on this topic:

- examine a criminal law such as impaired driving. What are the moral reasons for its criinalization?
What social policy objectives are reflected in the impaired driving laws in Canada? (p. 75)

- Reflect upon ways in which laws restrict our freedom. Then explore ways in which laws improve our
freedom. Write a brief reflection paper discussion whether Canadian law is more than a set of rules
telling individuals what they can not do. (p. 75)

Online notes about Dialectical Evaluation

(4 step process to using dialectic evaluation to assess whether an argument is valid/reasonable)


http://individual.utoronto.ca/ecolak/EBM/evidence_and_eikos/models_of_argumentation/walton/
walton.htm