Lesson Objectives for History

Feb 2011
13,564
Perambulating in St James' Park
#1
I'm in the middle of teacher training and I've just done a micro teach on how to calculate the age of the Earth. The idea was to convert the time to mm and calculate the distance. Unfortunately it didn't go too well as some berk started cross-questioning the scientific validity of my fossil trilobite being 500ga. I wasted 5 min trying to tell him I couldn't prove it myself but he should check the research. To finish off the tutor said during my feedback that there was a problem with the lesson objectives, namely - how was their learning meant to help them?

How exactly is learning about the age of the Earth meant to help anyone? Isn't it more abstract? It's not like Maths and English where it can help you spell, calculate or get a job, but it's pretty darn important imho.

How would one write that as a smart objective? How do history teachers approach smart objectives? This seems to be a UK thing so I don't know if other countries do it.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,451
Portugal
#2
I'm in the middle of teacher training and I've just done a micro teach on how to calculate the age of the Earth. The idea was to convert the time to mm and calculate the distance. Unfortunately it didn't go too well as some berk started cross-questioning the scientific validity of my fossil trilobite being 500ga. I wasted 5 min trying to tell him I couldn't prove it myself but he should check the research. To finish off the tutor said during my feedback that there was a problem with the lesson objectives, namely - how was their learning meant to help them?

How exactly is learning about the age of the Earth meant to help anyone? Isn't it more abstract? It's not like Maths and English where it can help you spell, calculate or get a job, but it's pretty darn important imho.

How would one write that as a smart objective? How do history teachers approach smart objectives? This seems to be a UK thing so I don't know if other countries do it.
I am not sure that I fully understood the situation, and everything that I will say must be seen as an opinion of someone with necessarily a quite different educational perspective, training and experience.

Since we are in this sub-forum and because of the thread title, I assume that this happened in the “middle of [history] teacher training”, and so the theme surprised me because, if we see history as a social/human science/discipline calculating the age of the Earth it can be seen as outside of history’s usual borders and more related with other disciplines and sciences, and quite rusty in establishing new objectives after many years working with the same.

But it could be well accepted depending of the objectives of the class/exercise.

So what was the goal? What was the objective of the class/exercise? At the end of a certain time what you would like that the students, the people that were following your class, would know that they didn’t know before that time period? – and this is fundamental to every class, before you begun it you must know what you want that the students learn/understand/train in a short time. Then you work on the methodology and the materials to transfer and train those new competences. My idea here is that you done the inverse process.

You wrote a sentence that I didn’t fully understood: “The idea was to convert the time to mm and calculate the distance.” But according to this it seems that one objective could be something like “Allow the students to train and be familiarized with the conversion…” or probably more correctly “at the end of the class the student should be able to calculate Earth’s age…”

The objectives of the classed depend on the program, and there are usually year/semester objectives that are then decomposed in classes. So you must ask yourself if calculating Earth’s age was a past of the program. At first sight those goals seem more an objective of a Math class, so you will have to relate it with history.
 

Star

Ad Honorem
Sep 2010
3,732
USA
#3
How about introducing students to some of the scientific and technological advances that have allowed humanity to expand the body of knowledge "science" that has allowed us to go farther and deeper than ever before? ;-)
 
Nov 2018
3
Cokato, MN 55321
#4
I think the story is quite an important subject that tells the story of the life of our ancestors, in the university I had a dissertation on the topic "History of England", I went to the site and found all the necessary materials there, I think this site will also be useful to you.
 

Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,217
#5
I'm in the middle of teacher training and I've just done a micro teach on how to calculate the age of the Earth. The idea was to convert the time to mm and calculate the distance. Unfortunately it didn't go too well as some berk started cross-questioning the scientific validity of my fossil trilobite being 500ga. I wasted 5 min trying to tell him I couldn't prove it myself but he should check the research. To finish off the tutor said during my feedback that there was a problem with the lesson objectives, namely - how was their learning meant to help them?

How exactly is learning about the age of the Earth meant to help anyone? Isn't it more abstract? It's not like Maths and English where it can help you spell, calculate or get a job, but it's pretty darn important imho.

How would one write that as a smart objective? How do history teachers approach smart objectives? This seems to be a UK thing so I don't know if other countries do it.
Knowing the age of the planet we live on is necessary for multiple contextual reasons.

For example:

Relevance in regard to the age of our solar system. Which is contextual in regard to the formation of our solar system. How was our solar system formed ? How long ago was our solar system formed ? What kind of scientists inquire about such things ? Who would be interested in this kind of scientific enquiry ? etc.

Relevance in regard to how we know how to date the age of things ? How do we know the Earth's age ? etc.

Relevance in regard to biological evolution. When did life first appear ? What era did the dinosaurs roam the earth in ? Why is continental drift important to know in regard to species origination ? etc.

What is geology ? What do geologists do ? What is continental drift ? What is plate tectonics ? How are volcanos formed ? etc.
 
Feb 2011
13,564
Perambulating in St James' Park
#6
I guess my teacher's point was that it wouldn't be much use in a vocational class. Though I believe there are things that are important for everyone to know, and this is one of them, along with other basic stuff like plants creating oxygen for people to breathe.

I got a great score on my observation the other day but I think I'll quit this teaching lark, the work load (in the UK at least) is ridiculous. There are far easier jobs to do for far better pay and far less stress. I also loathe having to take work home, there needs to be a work/life balance and in teaching there doesn't seem to be any.

The next problem is trying to figure out what the hell to do next.
 

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