Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:
- What are the benefits and challenges of teaching controversial topics in social studies?
- Do you think a teacher should divulge his or her own position on controversial issues?
- How do you create a safe classroom environment that encourages students to participate fully and share their ideas and opinions? Are there specific, non-negotiable ground rules that you put in place before discussion begins?
- How do you ensure full participation by students in small-group work?
- Why is it important for students to be able to relate social studies concepts to their own lives? What are some of the ways that you help students do this?
Watch the Video
As you watch "Gender-based Distinctions," take notes on Mr. Rockey's instructional strategies, particularly how he pursues multiple goals in the lesson. 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?
- Why do you think Mr. Rockey decided to focus his lesson on gender-based discrimination?
- How did Mr. Rockey clarify the goals of the lesson before students began their work?
- How did Mr. Rockey encourage groups to stay focused on all of the goals in the lesson?
- What evidence did you notice that students were thinking, that they were civil in their discussions, and that they worked together to produce posters?
- What roles does Mr. Rockey assume during the group discussions, group presentations, and later in the whole-class discussion?
- How is this class different from yours? How would you introduce controversial topics in your social studies class?
Let's take a second look at Mr. Rockey's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.