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Unit Plans:

2002

2003

Bartow County

Contextual Teaching and Learning:

Unit Plans

As a part of a federal School-to-Work (STW) grant, summer workshops were planned to offer teachers time and space to learn how to engage students through contextual teaching and learning experiences. The workshop was 50 hours, and the participants received certification renewal credit for their time and effort. Part of the workshop was spent reading and researching the concept of contextual teaching, another part provided a one-day internship in a business setting related to a subject the participant taught, yet another part allowed time for synthesis and application of learned concepts in the form of the unit plans that follow.

The units are based on the notion that contextual learning "marks an educational philosophy and an educational strategy that centers on enabling students to find meaningfulness in their education" (Parnell, 1995, p. 2).  Unfortunately, students often fail to find meaning in school, but the contextual learning classroom offers a place for meaning and content to merge.  Parnell (1995) points out that this educational stance provides opportunities for the "teacher to broaden students' perceptions so that meaning becomes visible and the purpose of learning immediately understandable" (p. 2).  Then, as students engage in purposeful classroom learning experiences, they begin to see the how content mirrors the world beyond school.  In the contextual teaching and learning classroom, learning experiences are based on the application of traditional expectations through five approaches: problem-based learning, cooperative learning, project-based learning, service learning, and work-based learning (Berns & Erickson, 2001).  The units created as a result of the summer workshops represent the participants' movement into these less traditional teaching and learning strategies.  Many also reflect the participants' experience in the world of work-the place the teachers saw the real-world application of their subject area.

We welcome your input as you browse the units. Please feel free to contact me (charrell@kennesaw.edu) or the author of a particular unit.  No untaught unit is perfect, and as the teachers implement their work in the actual classroom, they will refine and update, but your knowledge can richen their work as teachers and the students as learners.                                                                                    

Dr. Carol P. Harrell
Department of English 
Kennesaw State University

References

Bern, R.G. & Erickson, P.M. (2001). Contextual Teaching and Learning: Preparing Students for the New Economy. The Highlight Zone: Research @ Work. <http://www.nccte.com>(2003, May 15).

Parnell, D. (1995). Contextual Teaching Works! Increasing Students' Achievement. Waco, Texas: CCI Publishing.

2002

 

 

Gail Gavant

Melissa Clarke

 

2003

 

Gregory D. Clarke -- Teasly Middle School
Printable pdf version

Guy Clarke -- Cherokee County Schools
Printable pdf version

Lucy Dixon -- Secondary Drama
Printable pdf version

Heather Hooks -- Secondary English
Printable pdf version

Vanessa B. Hufstetler -- Marietta 6th Grade Academy
Printable pdf version

Meredith Gale-Johnson -- Secondary Drama
Printable pdf version

Sharon L. Morris -- Dunleith Elementary
Printable pdf version

Lisa Newburger -- Media Specialist
Printable pdf version

Robert W. Porter -- Middle School Language Arts
Printable pdf version

 

 

Bartow County

 

 

Jillian Palmiotto
Printable pdf version

Gwin Patrick
Printable pdf version

Lee Perry
Printable pdf version

April Ripandelli
Printable pdf version

Crawford Taylor
Printable pdf version

Ginger Thompson
Printable pdf version