Professional Standard Three – design and implement intellectually challenging learning experiences
Standard Three requires teachers to create and deliver learning experiences that provide an appropriate level of academic rigour. Learning goals should include links to higher order thinking skills. In particular, learning activities should explore significant ideas and concepts and allow plenty of opportunity for students to engage in inquiry, analysis, evaluation, justification and creation tasks. Teachers should ensure that learning experiences are sufficiently scaffolded to enable students to progressively take responsibility for their learning.
Lesson plan: Aztec life jigsaw
This jigsaw activity clearly reflects the practice, knowledge and values of standard three. The task engages students in an intellectually-challenging historical inquiry using the cooperative learning strategy of reciprocal teaching. Students were provided with models of practice by the teacher before beginning the expert jigsaw activity to ensure that clear learning goals and boundaries were established. This student-centred activity was designed to engage the students in higher-order thinking skills and creativity. By becoming experts and then ‘teaching’ their classmates, students had real accountability for group learning. The requirement for jigsaw groups to formulate analytical questions to ask their ‘experts’ was designed to ensure all students interacted with the new knowledge at a deep analytical level.