The importance of lesson plans in a classroom cannot be ignored. The foundation of every effective classroom lies in the art and science of a well thought, deeply researched, and diligent lesson plan.
A few days ago, while conversing with a resource person about lesson plans, I had an argument with her about the practice of providing standardized lesson plans to teachers. As an educator for nearly 22 years, I have always advocated and practiced the freedom to design my own lesson plans. The need for readymade lesson plans could be many–delays in the recruitment process, crunch of well-trained teachers, sudden vacancy, etc. I call these “moulded” lesson plans because they follow a pattern and methodology equivalent to the school’s and treat varied learners in the same manner.
Moulded lesson plans and customized lesson plans are two approaches to designing curriculum and instructional materials in school education. Let’s compare and analyze both approaches to understand their characteristics and potential benefits.
Moulded lesson plans, also known as standardized or pre- made lesson plans, follow a predetermined structure and content. These plans are typically created by educational experts or curriculum developers and provide a structured framework for teachers to follow.
Here are some key features and advantages of moulded lesson plans.
a. Efficiency: Moulded lesson plans save time and effort for teachers as they come with pre-designed content, learning objectives, and assessment strategies. Teachers can focus more on delivering the lessons and interacting with students rather than spending extensive time planning the curriculum.
b. Consistency: With moulded lesson plans, there is a higher likelihood of achieving consistency in instructional delivery across different classrooms or schools. This can be beneficial in maintaining standardization and ensuring that all students receive similar learning experiences.
c. Alignment: Moulded lesson plans are often aligned with educational standards and learning outcomes. These plans are well-curated and thoughtfully designed.
Customized lesson plans
These are lesson plans designed and created by respective educators. They often follow the prescribed format for the lesson plan and curricular standards. These lesson plans try to accommodate Bloom’s taxonomy, differentiated instructions, technological interventions, and scope to alter it if necessary.
Following are some characteristics and advantages of customized lesson plans:
- Individualization: Customized lesson plans allow teachers to address the diverse needs and learning styles of their students. By adapting the content, instructional strategies, and assessment methods, teachers can create a more engaging and relevant learning experience.
- Flexibility: Customized lesson plans provide the flexibility to modify instructional approaches based on ongoing assessment and feedback. As per situational demands, it can also have traditional or 21st century approach.
- Self-satisfactory and rewarding: As the individual teacher/ team of teachers are actively engaged in this process, it provides them a great level of creative satisfaction and acts as a booster for effective classroom delivery.
- Inclusion: Customized lesson plans can cater to the diverse learning needs of students with disabilities, special educational needs, or English language learners. By adapting content and instructional strategies, teachers can create an inclusive classroom environment that supports the success of all learners.
Both molded and customized lesson plans have their merits, and the choice between them depends on various factors.
|Key feature||Molded LP||Customized LP|
|Duration||Requires less duration||Needs time to create|
|Flexibility||Less flexible||More flexible due to known audience|
|Engagement||Less engaging||More engaging with inclusion of activities suitable for the known group of learners|
|Relevance||May not be relevant in some cases||More relevance as the subject teacher is aware of the learners|
|Individual learning||Mostly emphasis is given to the generalized strategies||It can be drafted as per the need of the learners|
|Effectiveness||Less effective if just followed verbatim||More effective due to customization and sense of belongingness|
|Teacher involvement||Negligible as she has to follow what has been given||More engaging and rewarding for the teachers|
What is the right choice of lesson plans?
The school authorities and the heads of departments should mutually come to a conclusion about this. Due to advancement in technology and service providers a lot of stuff is readily available online. Its content and style is attractive. A small investment reduces the teacher’s work for sure.
Yet, the relevance of individualized lesson plans is greater. Each academic year brings in new hopes and diverse learners, so customization will not only train teachers to closely monitor learning styles but also provide opportunities to dive into the ocean of different learning pedagogies and experiential learning.
The very aim of education is creation of curious minds and problem solvers for a better world.
The author is Academic Leader with Aditya Birla Education Academy. She is an avid reader and leader who loves to explore unpaved territories. She is a chemistry postgraduate who loves to co relate theoretical learning and practical learning. She is passionate about children and their welfare. She is an AIEF global resource person who loves to interact with the teacher community. Apart from being an empathetic administrator, she also has the skills to be motivator for her team members. She can be reached at email@example.com.