By A Concerned Teacher
We commend the educational bodies throughout the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) for the part they play in educating the nations’ children.
For years now, however, the educational authorities in the OECS countries seem to be more focused on requiring teachers to write units and lesson plans rather than the quality of lessons delivered. While units and lesson plans are useful guides in teaching, is it really necessary to have teachers laboriously write them, oppressing and stressing them out? It is no wonder that quite a number of secondary school teachers do not write units and lesson plans.
A teacher can write many units and lesson plans and still end up teaching less effectively than a teacher who didn’t write any. For the teacher who didn’t write any may have spent useful time thinking of practical activities that help students understand concepts, whereas the teacher who wrote the units and lesson plans may teach in a predominantly abstract manner.
I do agree that lessons must be planned, but I object to the unnecessary, excessive, time-consuming writing of units and lesson plans.
Curriculum Development Unit
Can the workers at the Curriculum Development Unit be more productive than they presently are? For example, since reading has been an issue among the nations’ children for years now, how good it can be if workers at the Curriculum Development Unit spend time producing videos involving parents being interviewed about how they helped their children to learn to read well. Skits can be done to make the same point. Further, videos demonstrating effective ways to help parents/guardians teach reading to their children will be helpful. These videos can then be sent to principals who, in turn, can give to teachers to share on their group chats for parents/guardians to benefit, being shown how they can assist their children to learn to read well, among other things.
Of course, class teachers will continue to do their best to help their students. Counting the number of units and lesson plans a teacher writes does not magically make children brilliant. The focus on getting children meaningfully involved in learning, doing activities that help them grasp concepts, is the better way to go. That should be the focus of the education departments of the entire OECS.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].