Content Development Patterns Over a 2-Year Period as Indicated from Written Lesson Plans

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 The University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • | 2 Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary School
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Teaching preservice teachers to plan, specifically the written lesson plan, is one vehicle to help transform their content knowledge into forms that are pedagogically powerful (Shulman, 1987). This article describes what changes occurred in how one teacher, BJ, transformed her knowledge of content for student learning in lesson plans written during her methods course, student teaching, and 1st-year teaching. Data sources beyond the 17 lesson plans selected for analysis were unit plans, dialogue journals, semistructured interviews, and a graduate research project. Data were analyzed using inductive analysis techniques, and emerging results were discussed continuously with BJ for participant validation of the researchers’ interpretation. Four patterns related to content development are discussed: a shift in how content was identified, shorter lesson plans, a shift from consistent use of extending tasks with minimum use of application tasks to the reverse, and the absence of preplanned refinement and simplifying tasks. Findings from both studies, BJ’s and the original inquiry, suggest that teacher educators need to reexamine the amount and type of information they ask students to include, as well as the format. The challenge will be to develop new approaches that will continually support this process but that will be better suited to the realities of teaching (Floden & Klinzing, 1990).

K.R. Barrett is at 323 Curry Bldg., University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC 27412. A. Sebren is now at 907 W. Willow, Louisville, CO 80027. A.M. Sheehan is now with the Department of Health and Physical Education, Southeast Gilford Middle School, 4825 Woody Mill Rd., Greensboro, NC 27406.

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