Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of a high school student in the classroom.
LINK: The Individual in Society Home
LINK: About the Class
Watching the video
LINK: Connecting to Your Teaching
LINK: Standards
LINK: Resources

Watching the Video

Image of a notebook with the following text displayed: Reflect: As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them in a group.

Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:

  • What role do questions play in learning, and how do you encourage students to question you, one another, and the resources they use?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of posing difficult questions as a teaching strategy?
  • What questions do you think are important for students to consider in social studies?

Watch the Video
As you watch "The Individual in Society," take notes on Mr. Poon's instructional strategies, particularly how he uses questioning as a strategy for teaching. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.


Reflecting on the Video
Review your notes, then respond to the following questions:

  • What struck you about the classroom climate, background, preparation, strategies, and materials used in this lesson?
  • What kind of preparation might have preceded this lesson in order for students to be successful in their work?
  • What role did the use of a dilemma have in this class?
  • What strategies did Mr. Poon use to encourage questioning and critical thinking?

Looking Closer
Let's take a second look at Mr. Poon's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.

Mr. Poon speaking in his class.
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Using Dilemmas: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 3 minutes into the video. Watch for about 5 minutes.

As the video lesson begins, Mr. Poon asks a student to read the dilemma facing the nation of Fenway. He then asks students to work in groups to come up with a solution that represents viewpoints of a particular philosopher.

  • What is the advantage of using a dilemma in this way?
  • What is the role of the dilemma in engaging students in abstract thinking?
  • How does Mr. Poon help his students succeed as they grapple with this assignment?
  • What are the advantages to using a dilemma from a fictional nation (Fenway) as opposed to examining a dilemma from an actual nation?
One of Mr. Poon's students.
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Questioning To Stimulate Thinking: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 12 minutes into the video. Watch for about 2 minutes.

As students discuss their solutions to the Fenway dilemma, Mr. Poon checks in with each group and gauges students' understanding through questioning. Listen carefully to the exchange between the Reinhold Niebuhr group members and Mr. Poon as the group discusses their solution.

  • How do Mr. Poon's questions stimulate thinking?
  • What does his comment about what to do "when a kid is struggling" reveal about how Mr. Poon assesses his students' understanding?
  • How might Mr. Poon's educational philosophy lead to more learning?

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