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Lesson Plans

Case study: A scheduling "problem"

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mark Joyce (joycem)
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 11:35:20 +0000


*four classes of middle school students (one class for each of
grades 5-8);
*a teacher for each area: health education, physicial education,
music education and art education;
* and approximately two hours each afternoon between the end
of lunch and the end of the day...
* a schedule which will provide each of the four areas with
an equal amount of scheduled time throughout the year.


Two afternoon periods, of 50 minutes each, were established. Five
more minutes were set for transition between periods and after the
last period for dismissal.

The areas were blocked as Art/Health and Music/P.E. The students
were classes were blocked as 5/6 and 7/8. The schedule was one of
continuous rotation. Three days one week, two days the next,
alternating blocks. In the event of a holiday, conference day, etc.,
the rotation simply picked up with the next block. So... on a given
day the 5's went to Art and then Health and the 6's did the same in
reverse order. At the same time the 7's were in Music and then P.E.
and the 8's did the same, only in reverse order.

This schedule provided the 5-8 students with an average of
TWO HOURS AND FIVE MINUTES (clocktime) of instruction/ involvement
in EACH of the four areas PER WEEK.


As principal, this is the problem I posed for solving to my three
general classroom teachers who also did the departmentalized
teaching of health, physical education and music education.
I taught the art education.

We created the scheduling framework and then designed curriculum
for each area which addressed state outcomes as a baseline and then
went beyond them. The curriculum for each area was clustered into
six units (15 periods each) per year. Writng across the curriculum
was an integral component of each area. Subscriptions to student
periodicals in art and health were used to develop and extend
content-area reading comprehension and fluency.

Because these teachers all taught in several other subject areas
during the morning, and because they communicated well and enjoyed
working together, we were also able to both formally and informally
weave other strands of integration between morning and afternoon
areas of study.

* The health ed curriculum was drawn from the Michigan Model
for Comprehensive Health Education health education outcomes;
human biology was moved here from the science curriculum to provide a
more authentic context for the study of health and hbio; life-long
health & fitness, leisure & recreation outcomes were also included;
as was walking for aerobic fitness curriculum(Sweetgall). Student's
received subscriptions to CURRENT HEALTH, a student periodical.

* The physical education curriculum focused on the outcomes related
to gross motor movement, strength and motor control and drew from
the AAPHER&D guidelines.

* The music education curriculum reflected an intentionally eclectic
weaving of Manhattanville, Orff, Kodaly, and DBAE approaches and
involved students in both the reading and composing aspects of
performance. This instruction provided the music theory, reading and
critical listening foundation for the school's cocurricular beginning
band program and extra-curricular advanced band program. The two
bands accounted for the involvement of 87% of the 5-8 population. The
choirs involved similar numbers.

* The art curriculum used a DBAE approach, drawing on
ARTTALK (Ragans), ARTSTRANDS (Hubbard), ART & MAN (a Scholastic
student periodical) VISUAL ART IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH (Caemera
sp?) and FINDING ONE'S WAY WITH CLAY (Behrenson) as principal

REFLECTIONS for students...
??? What are the critical variables which you feel contributed to the
successful DESIGN and DELVERY of this curriculum?
??? Project the variables as within or outside your control, if you
had been one of the teachers.
After two years, I moved back to teacher education. Within five years
of its inception, all of the initial designers had moved on and the
curriculum was no longer being delivered as designed. Today the only
vestiges are pieces of unused equipment. The (small, narrow)
artroom and the (wired) music room have been claimed and changed
for other purposes.

??? What critical variables do you feel may have contributed to the
program's demise?
??? Project the variables as within or outside your control if you
had been one of the teachers.
??? Can innovative solutions like this be perpetuated? How? ???
??? Should they be? Why?=

The cost of instruction in these four areas was covered by an
education fee which amounted to $10 per child, per area, per year.
So, assuming a stable 5-8 enrollment of 100 students, each of these
teachers would be managing a budget of $1000 per year for their
area. This money would need to cover the cost of consumables,
instructional resources, and capital expenditures. Monies could be
carried over from year to year to facilitate capital purchases.
Subscription costs were covered by each student.
Teachers provided with TIME and MONEY also carry a heavier
burden of individual responsibility and visable accountability.

??? What would your five-year budget projection look like?
??? Format a balanced, DBAE-based (or any other) art curriculum
as six, 15-period continuums of study.
There's no one right or wrong way to design a schedule, only
different ways representing different tradeoffs.

??? What are various patterns in which art might be scheduled?
??? What are strengths and limitations of each pattern?
??? What are you willing to trade off?
The solutions presented in this case are the unique
vision/extension/expression of the four, experienced, professional
educators who were part of a K-8 Lutheran school of 200+ students in
the mid-late 80's. Curriculum (whether viewed as a dynamic situation
and/or a workplan) is shaped by its contextual past; intent for the
future; and the minds and hands of present stakeholders.

??? What questions have you gleaned from this case which can serve
you as useful context-independent tools in the future? Explain.
??? What models have you gleaned that could serve you as useful
referents in the future? Explain.
??? What answers have you gleaned from this case that you can use
in the future? Explain.
In this school, advanced band and advanced choir were volunteer
organizations which each met for forty minutes, two days per week
after school. Team sports practices followed these rehearsals because
of the high percentage of overlap in participation.

??? What might a comparable extracurricular art program look like?

Craig, Diane and other possible case users...

I hope this provides some fruitful food for thought on several
variables that are definitely part of the art ed mileu, but not
always part of our course-driven, art ed conversations.

I also hope that the layout doesn't get too garbled in transmission!

The cases so far have made for some fine reading and reflection.
Keep them coming!

Mark Joyce joycem Concordia College Ann Arbor MI