The NYS prescribed learning standards is an important resource for teachers as it identifies what topics and skills students should be able to learn and master in a specific grade. However, generating ideas for activities and lessons on a specific topic is a difficult task. A teacher has to find inspiration from his/her students and everyday life in order to make the learning experience more meaningful. As a teacher, the resources available for lesson planning and designing of activities are numerous; it could be from textbooks, from teacher resources in the internet or even from one’s colleagues.
Active learning and inquiry as a teaching strategy can also be the same ways of thinking that would help teachers generate ideas on how to incorporate active learning and inquiry into one’s lessons. It is difficult to generate these types of activities because we have not been used to thinking about learning and the teaching process in this way (Johnson & Johnson, 1999). Moreover, we know that these methods are more effective but since we have not been trained in it, it is very difficult for us to actually make the activity. We have to rely on preprogrammed or pre-designed activities and customize it to our own classroom experience.
These approaches are not used very often in schools because teachers themselves are not that knowledgeable about the process, teachers need to be pushed and required to use it before any changes could ever happen. Active learning is evident in the video when the teacher instructed the students to discover what they can about the assigned task, there was no predetermined way of finding the correct answer, but the students where to use their imagination and previous learning to be able to describe and explain the subject matter of the study.
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