Lesson planning must become a large scale collaborative activity
Currently, the majority of teachers plan their lessons in isolation. This represents tens of thousands of hours of thinking and effort that DO NOT BUILD UPON EACH OTHER. This situation is economically and pedagogically insane.
We need to exploit the affordances of digital technologies to foster large scale social lesson planning practices. In addition we need to harness Big Data to allow teachers to make more evidence-informed decisions about their practice.
Just imagine sitting down to plan a lesson and instead of starting with a blank slate (or last year's effort) you begin with a plan that has already been through the minds and classrooms of a thousand teachers - evaluated and iterated until it suggests not just what works best, but what works best for different contexts.
Check out http://openplan.cc for more details.
Ivor Hickey commented
It might be more useful if teachers consulted students more in the development of lesson plans for a class. We have used this with some success in both secondary and primary schools under the banner of TheLeonardo Effect. It seems to develop an interest in science that previously seemed a boring 'just learn the facts' subject
Nick von Behr commented
I agree with Peps and am also encouraged by moves to engage teachers more with pedagogical research to inform their practice. This can be done through subject associations, national centres and independent conferences aimed at teachers such as ResearchEd 2013.
Peps Mccrea commented
Good question, but sharing resources and lesson plans is very different to engaging in the process of lesson planning with others. Progress made by Open Educational Resources (OER) movement has been a welcome leap forward, but we now need to develop tools to help us share and develop our pedagogy as well as our content. As McKinsey state (in their report on the world's best education systems): 'the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers… [and] the only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction'
David M commented
Thanks for sharing this, Peps. But is this the case? TES Resources, for instance, is geared towards providing teachers, globally, with free access to resources and lesson plans.