Transcontinental Railroad: Big Business, Industry, And Expansion

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When creating my formal lesson plan, “Transcontinental Railroad: Big Business, Industry, and Expansion,” I originally intended to create a lesson plan that focuses on a large, student-centered activity in which students were to act out groups from the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in a classroom-sized board game. Unfortunately, that particular lesson was too lengthy as it would take multiple days to complete. Therefore, I created a new lesson plan that took turns in being both student and teacher-centered to ensure that the material will be covered more efficiently. While my lesson plan was not as engaging as a game, I did implement an activity that called for students to think critically. Both lessons were guided by Dewey’s educational …show more content…

(Parker 19). The lesson plan for this particular unit was for students to learn about the various groups involved in building the railroads, their experiences, and how they compared to one another.
John Dewey’s curriculum theory is one that suggests that teachers should act as facilitators for educating students and, “believed the schools should participate in the general intellectualization of society by inculcating a ‘method of intelligence,’ [that] would provide students with the critical competence for reflective thought applied to the analysis of social problems,” (19). In my formal lesson, I implemented Dewey’s theory by providing students with the material and included both informal and formal assessments that allows for students to reflect on both the …show more content…

Count’s educational theory focuses heavily on creating a new social order, while Conservative theorists like Lippman, Posner, and Leming find that only the “social elite” can understand the complexities of society and that having students analyze and reflect on such is “beyond their cognitive abilities,” (19-22). Count’s social reconstructionist views focuses heavily creating social studies curriculum to change social order, while the conservative theorists focus heavily on teaching students civic, democratic duties rather than Dewey’s approach of allowing students to come to their own conclusions. While Dewey’s approach can be seen as being more left-leaning because it calls for student to reflect and analyze, his approach avoids the indoctrination of societal reconstruction (18-21). I believe that students have the ability to think critically about social issues, and that it is the teacher’s duty to help facilitate productive discussions and analysis so that students can perform at the cognitive ability to do

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