Lesson Plan Guide: Adapting

By Matt Andrews on July 17, 2014

TITLE: Adapting

GRADE LEVELS: 9-12

CONTENT AREAS: Advisory, English, Life Skills, Social Studies, Math, Study Skills

 

GOALS:

• Students will understand how and why many professions reward and often require continued education for their members.

• Students will consider their own career goals in terms of the continuing education required of professionals working in those career areas.

OBJECTIVES:

• Students work in small groups to discuss scenarios requiring further learning in specific job settings and share conclusions with large group.

• Students receive general information about requirements and incentives for continuing education in one’s career field via direct instruction and note-taking.

• Students reflect on questions that ask them to relate their current career aspirations in light of the possible need for continued education.

ASCA STANDARDS ADDRESSED:

• C:C1.4 Understand that the changing workplace requires lifelong learning and acquiring new skills

 

COMMON CORE STANDARDS ADDRESSED:

• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE:

It is helpful to be familiar with the professional requirements of teaching (or an example from another field). The lesson is on continuing education and professional development; a concrete example from an instructor will establish a common understanding for further discussion about licenses, credentials, and education in various fields.

MATERIALS:

• Class set of Individual Questions and Answers (REPRODUCIBLE A), one for each student.

• Copies of small-group scenarios for groups’ analysis—four scenarios included, copy as needed for number of groups of 3-6 (REPRODUCIBLE B1-B4).

• Student Paths article “Being adaptable helps you hit the curveballs life pitches.”

Optional:

 

 

Student videos by Abby Johnson, http://bit.ly/XjI1AE, and Samantha Ickes, http://bit.ly/VyRj0R.

 

ASSESSMENT:

Instructors may assign the final section of Individual Questions and Answers (REPRODUCIBLE A) and collect it as homework for the next class period.

LESSON OVERVIEW:

The lesson has four progressive stages:

• Small-to-large group discussion with scenarios for continuing education

• Direct instruction of key concepts for lifelong learning, adaptability, and continuing education

• Complete individual reflection questions

• Read to answer questions about article

 

LESSON PROCEDURE:

Small-to-large group discussion (15 minutes)

Instruct students to form small groups of 3- 6 people. After groups have formed, distribute an Individual Questions and Answers (REPRODUCIBLE A) to every student. Also distribute one Group Scenario (REPRODUCIBLE B1-B4) to each group.

Instruct each group to choose one person to read aloud and another person to facilitate the discussion. Allow groups about 5 minutes to read aloud and answer the discussion questions. Allow 10 minutes for the whole class to summarize the scenarios and draw attention to lifelong learning, continuing education, and learning to adapt.

Direct Instruction and Class Discussion (5 minutes)

Use the commentary of the groups to segue into the next phase of the lesson with direct attention to continuing education and professional certification.

Direct students to take notes and answer the questions in the second part of REPRODUCIBLE A. Use the notes below to guide the discussion. Students have the following 5 questions to answer:

1. Define “Continuing Education.”

Continuing Education is an all-encompassing term that refers to education for adults offered by institutions and colleges that provide lifelong learning for specific interests in various fields.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuing_education

2. What are two types of continuing education?

 

Continuing Education: General

• Any formal instruction gained beyond the “normal,” expected instructions of high school, college, technical, certification programs

• Offered in many forms—through universities, community education, for no charge through libraries and other organizations

• Can help in obtaining jobs, but can also be ‘hobby learning’—classes to learn more about something you’re interested in

 

Continuing Education: Professional

• Forms of continuing education that are required by a profession

• Many professions, such as real estate, general contract and construction, medical professionals, mechanics, lawyers, teachers, and several others, require continuing education to be completed for licensure (often called Continuing Education Units or CEU)

• Other professions don’t require continuous education, necessarily, but allow workers the opportunity for raises and other career advancements within a company.

• CEUs awarded by accredited sources, meaning they’ve received approval from professional boards as effective trainers/teachers. If looking for official credits/units, in other words, be sure the organization is accredited

 

3. There are many kinds of lifelong learning, list a few of them here.

People learn everyday doing lots of different things! Any activity may be considered lifelong learning, and the instructor may encourage wild ideas in brainstorm to promote student thinking outside the box about learning and education. A few ideas: personal development, diet and weight loss, cooking, hobbies, recreational activities, family life, spiritual and religious life, researching on the intranet, online schools, talking with friends, etc.

4. How does a professional organization require additional education from its members? A teacher, real estate agent, skilled construction worker, medical professional, and lawyer all require continuing education. Why must professionals continue their education?

Contrast a professional education with all the kinds of lifelong learning. Use a few specific examples from fields that captivate student interest. Easiest to understand for many instructors is the credential process to become a teacher. Explain the specific requirements so students have a concrete example (coursework, practicum hours, standard tests, fees, and professional development).

One concrete example will help students think in general terms about all the various professional fields.

5. A professional is certified, licensed, or somehow credentialed by a professional organization to work within a specific field and provide a specialized service with specialized skills. The specific language may vary by field, but every field has A___________ schools or institutions that offer the degree/training that is recognized by the field. Give an example of how an A___________ institution offers continuing education within a specific field.

The term is “Accredited” school and institution. The University of California and California State University are accredited to offer Master’s Degrees in Education so that teachers may obtain a state-certified credential to teach a specific subject within a classroom in California.

 

Critical Reflection Question (5 minutes)

Now it’s time to transition from the whole class discussion to individual, silent reflection on the questions in Part 3 of REPRODUCIBLE A. Encourage students to think critically about education and learning. There may not be a specific answer for each question, but they focus attention on continued education and learning outside the classroom. The three questions are:

1. Why would it be important for many professions to require their members to prove they received credit for continued education in their field?

2. Can you think of an example of a field in which some kind of continued learning is totally unnecessary? Name it, and explain why you believe they would need no further learning or training as they progress.

3. This may be the first time many students have understood that “classroom learning” may be part of your life forever: high school, college, graduate and professional programs, and continuing education. List a few ideas of ways to learn “outside the classroom.” Continuing with formal education is a great way to learn, but it is helpful to list other ways to engage in learning that you enjoy in your life.

Ask for a few students to share answers to each question and focus attention on building upon student understanding of learning and education.

 

Critical Reading Questions (5 minutes)

The final activity for this lesson is to read the Student Paths article, “Being adaptable helps you hit the curveballs life pitches” by Rebecca VanderMeulen. Students may take the article and REPRODUCIBLE A home to complete the remaining questions. The previous activities focused attention on continuing education, while this article focuses attention on unplanned learning and adapting to situations. Three questions reinforce three skills:

1. Comprehend: What skills is the author trying to teach the reader? Who does she rely upon for authority and expertise? What are the important lessons to be learned?

2. Connect: Think of a similar story that you have heard in your life about someone facing an unexpected event. What do you do to adapt to situations and challenges in your life?

3. Challenge: Consider the possible situations where “learning to adapt” could have negative consequences. List a few situations in life where one may be better to “stay the course” or “maintain tradition.” 

 

REPRODUCIBLE A

 

INDVIDUAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Small-group Discussion Notes

Your group has been assigned a scenario. Read the scenario aloud and discuss the three questions as a group. In this section, write your own thoughts and responses to the three questions. On some points, the group may agree, while on others, be sure to write down your own opinion.

1. How would additional learning be positive for the person in this scenario?

2. Would you want the professional in this situation to have the most recent, best information available to them in their field?

3. Write down a brief opinion from each of your group members about continuing education.

 

Questions to Be Answered in Large Group

After the group activity, your instructor will offer answers to these questions.

1. Define “Continuing Education.”

2. What are two types of continuing education?

3. There are many kinds of lifelong learning, list a few of them here.

4. How does a professional organization require additional education from its members? A teacher, real estate agent, skilled construction worker, medical professional, and lawyer all require continuing education. Why must professionals continue their education?

5. A professional is certified, licensed, or somehow credentialed by a professional organization to work within a specific field and provide a specialized service with specialized skills. The specific language may vary by field, but every field has A___________ schools or institutions that offer the degree/training that is recognized by the field. Give an example of how an A___________ institution offers continuing education within a specific field.

 

Critical Reflective Questions

After group activity and lecture, you should have a clear understanding of continued education and lifelong learning. Take a “critical perspective” and write your own answer to the following questions.

1. Why would it be important for many professions to require their members to prove they received credit for continued education in their field?   

2. Can you think of an example of a field in which some kind of continued learning is totally unnecessary? Name it, and explain why you believe they would need no further learning or training as they progress.

3. This may be the first time many students have understood that “classroom learning” may be part of your life forever: high school, college, graduate and professional programs, and continuing education. List a few ideas of ways to learn “outside the classroom.” Continuing with formal education is a great way to learn, but it is helpful to list other ways to engage in learning that you enjoy in your life.

 

Critical Reading Questions

After the critical reflection, read the Student Paths article, “Being adaptable helps you hit the curveballs life pitches” by Rebecca VanderMeulen, and answer the following questions:

4. Comprehend: What skills is the author trying to teach the reader? Who does she rely upon for authority and expertise? What are the important lessons to be learned?

5. Connect: Think of a similar story that you have heard in your life about someone facing an unexpected event. What do you do to adapt to situations and challenges in your life?

6. Challenge: Consider the possible situations where “learning to adapt” could have negative consequences. List a few situations in life where one may be better to “stay the course” or “maintain tradition.”

  

REPRODUCIBLE B1

 

Handout B1 Scenario and Group Discussion Questions

Small-Group Discussion

One member of your group read the scenario below aloud.

After you understand the scenario, another group member facilitates the discussion questions.

Every group member takes notes from this discussion onto the individual handout.

 

Scenario #1 

Ashley, Registered Nurse

 

Ashley earned her RN (Registered Nurse) license five years ago. As it had always been a goal of hers to work with sick infants, she was thrilled to be offered a position in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the local Children’s Hospital. Almost more than anything, though, she was happy to be getting out of the classroom. By the age of 23, she’d been in school for 18 straight years: she’d gone consecutively from kindergarten to graduating high school to earning her undergraduate degree to completing her nursing licensure.

Getting a job was great for her, as she was happy to trade hours of book problems and lectures for solving the actual problems she faced in her work day. Early into her career, though, she realized that her studying was nowhere near over. Each year, she was required to attend a certain number of seminars and workshops to keep up her CEUs. If she did not, she found out she could actually lose her nursing license and the job she loved so much. As the technology changes so quickly in her industry, though, she soon found herself thankful for all the additional studying. Without it, she would have had no idea how to operate all the new pieces of equipment the hospital purchased—or how to interpret the data given by each. Indeed, the time she put in on those workshops and seminars had given her tools to save lives—tools she never would have had just based on her nursing school degree.

Discussion Questions

Discuss three questions with your group, and answer them on individual handouts.

1. Why did the person in this scenario describe his/her requirement of additional learning to be positive? Does your group agree that it’s good for someone in this profession to receive additional education? Why/why not?

2. If you were depending on the person in this scenario to do a good job, would you want him/her to have knowledge of the most recent, best information available in their field? Or is it not all that necessary in this case? Discuss these questions in your group.

3. Pretend your group is a jury to determine the fate of continuing education for the person in your scenario. Each group member should think critically beyond a simple “Yes, it is good” or “No, I don’t think so” to offer a brief, reasoned opinion about why continued education is or is not necessary in this scenario.

 

REPRODUCIBLE B2

 

HANDOUT B2 Scenario and Group Discussion Questions

Small-Group Discussion

One member of your group read the scenario below aloud.

After you understand the scenario, another group member facilitates the discussion questions.

Every group member takes notes from this discussion onto the individual handout.

 

Scenario #2 

Derek, High School Economics Teacher

  

As he always loved his social studies classes in high school, Derek decided to become a teacher. After becoming interested in the study of economics in college, he hoped to someday bring the two passions together as a high school economics teacher. Though he loved the job of teaching economics to students, Derek found after a few years that it was really too hard to keep his information current. Now, things he did often in his first years of teaching (waking up early to read the paper for current trends/news in economics, staying up on new research in economics, etc.) have become hard to maintain as he’s taken on other things around the school.

When it’s tough to keep up, he ends up just copying off and delivering the same lessons from year to year. Though the kids still seem to like his class, there are times he finds himself a little unprepared for his students’ questions. Just recently, he found himself unable to respond effectively to a question about what caused the recession—and he thinks he lost some respect in his students’ eyes for it. Overall, though, he maintains his teaching license by completing the necessary professional CEU requirements. This way, he can continue earning experience steps and receiving raises as scheduled in his teaching contract.

Discussion Questions

Discuss three questions with your group, and answer them on individual handouts.

1. Why did the person in this scenario describe his/her requirement of additional learning to be positive? Does your group agree that it’s good for someone in this profession to receive additional education? Why/why not?

2. If you were depending on the person in this scenario to do a good job, would you want him/her to have knowledge of the most recent, best information available in their field? Or is it not all that necessary in this case? Discuss these questions in your group.

3. Pretend your group is a jury to determine the fate of continuing education for the person in your scenario. Each group member should think critically beyond a simple “Yes, it is good” or “No, I don’t think so” to offer a brief, reasoned opinion about why continued education is or is not necessary in this scenario.

 

REPRODUCIBLE B3

 

HANDOUT B3 Scenario and Group Discussion Questions

Small-Group Discussion

One member of your group read the scenario below aloud.

After you understand the scenario, another group member facilitates the discussion questions.

Every group member takes notes from this discussion onto the individual handout.

 

Scenario #3 

Donald, Auto Mechanic

  

Donald has wanted to be a car mechanic for as long as he can remember. Almost all of Donald’s best family memories involve being in the garage with his dad, getting a stubborn engine to come to life or finishing a difficult modification. Besides this deep passion for all things that make cars work, Donald really wants to go into a profession that won’t involve a lot of reading and writing.

He does fine in school, of course; he just never wants to be one of those people who spend entire days staring at computer screens. A few months out of high school, Donald takes a job at a place that does quick oil changes and other automotive maintenance tasks. After only a few weeks, his boss notices Donald’s obvious skill level and asks him if he’d be interested in working with more specialized, higher-level engine problems, and Donald accepts the job. With it, he gets a significant pay raise—from $14 an hour to $21. Eight months later, two of the mechanics Donald works closely with let him know they’re leaving the garage to take higher-paying positions ($26 an hour) at a competitor’s shop. After asking them more about their new jobs, Donald learns that he wouldn’t have been eligible because the competitor was seeking mechanics with Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications.

Specifically, this competitor was only looking for mechanics ASE-certified in Collision Repair and Refinish categories (two areas Donald would love to work in), which one earns certification in with a combination of test passage and work experience. Plus, certification holders must re-certify every five years to show that they are current with recent developments in the industry. Though he’s sad to see them go, Donald’s even more intrigued with their high-paying and interesting work opportunity. He’s not sure about pursuing it, though, because he doesn’t know if he wants to commit to all the studying.

Discussion Questions

Discuss three questions with your group, and answer them on individual handouts.

1. Why did the person in this scenario describe his/her requirement of additional learning to be positive? Does your group agree that it’s good for someone in this profession to receive additional education? Why/why not?

2. If you were depending on the person in this scenario to do a good job, would you want him/her to have knowledge of the most recent, best information available in their field? Or is it not all that necessary in this case? Discuss these questions in your group.

3. Pretend your group is a jury to determine the fate of continuing education for the person in your scenario. Each group member should think critically beyond a simple “Yes, it is good” or “No, I don’t think so” to offer a brief, reasoned opinion about why continued education is or is not necessary in this scenario. 

 

REPRODUCIBLE B4

 

HANDOUT B4 Scenario and Group Discussion Questions

Small-Group Discussion

One member of your group read the scenario below aloud.

After you understand the scenario, another group member facilitates the discussion questions.

Every group member takes notes from this discussion onto the individual handout. 

 

Scenario #4 

Kira, Social Worker

 

As a child who came from a pretty rough home life, Kira decided at an early age that she wanted to work with people from difficult backgrounds. She thought she’d make a great social worker as she was both proud of her own strength and capable of identifying with the kinds of issues social workers face on a daily basis. After earning her degree to practice social work, she finds it hard to find a position in her city because it seems like everyone’s looking for social workers with special experiences or educational credentials.

Because she’s fresh out of college and has no work experience, though, she can’t point to any practical reasons why anyone should hire her for the positions they have available. During this rough period, when Kira isn’t really sure if her career dreams will ever come true, she thinks about enrolling for some online credits in a high-demand area of social work. It’s not her first preference, as she’d rather get working with people as soon as she can in the area she’s most interested in (treatment of personality disorders). Plus, going back to school is not at all what she had in mind. She stops looking for work in her degree area and takes a job with a temp agency. From there, she plans to continue looking at possibilities that might allow her to get her foot in the door in an area of social work she’s passionate about.

Discussion Questions

Discuss three questions with your group, and answer them on individual handouts.

1. Why did the person in this scenario describe his/her requirement of additional learning to be positive? Does your group agree that it’s good for someone in this profession to receive additional education? Why/why not?

2. If you were depending on the person in this scenario to do a good job, would you want him/her to have knowledge of the most recent, best information available in their field? Or is it not all that necessary in this case? Discuss these questions in your group.

3. Pretend your group is a jury to determine the fate of continuing education for the person in your scenario. Each group member should think critically beyond a simple “Yes, it is good” or “No, I don’t think so” to offer a brief, reasoned opinion about why continued education is or is not necessary in this scenario.

 


About the Author

Matt Andrews

Matt Andrews

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