Education and Ideology

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I got the idea for this lesson after watching a short film called “Alternative Math”.

The description states “A well meaning math teacher finds herself trumped by a post-fact America”.
Let me show you how you can use it for your adult groups:

1) Start the lesson by having your students discuss the following questions:

1) What is the purpose of getting an education?
2) What kind of disadvantages can a school education give us?
3) How would you react if you were called to school because of your child?
4) Do you think schools have the right to talk about a child’s behavior in front of other parents?
5) Who do you think is to blame if a pupil can’t understand something: the pupil or the teacher?
6) Some teachers impose their political and moral views on their students. Do you support this?

2) After getting feedback, give students the following statements and ask them to share if they agree or disagree with them. Ask them to justify their opinions.

1) Schools teach people to be loyal citizens.
2) Schools kill creativity and focus on the grades.
3) Schools don’t teach the necessary skills for people to survive.
4) Once a school starts working, it will never change its ways of teaching.
5) Teachers are afraid to use technology for education.
6) Teachers shouldn’t focus on a student’s mistakes.

3) After the students have finished giving their opinions. Tell them that they’re going to watch a short film about a teacher and predict what’s going to happen.
Note: The movie is 8 minutes long and I’ve divided it into parts to make it easier for students to work with. The video will be paused when it’s time to ask questions or do some activities. Elicit the meaning of the words they’ve matched to give students a better understanding of them.

4) After your students have finished watching the video and did all the exercises. Give them the statements below and ask them to correct the false ones if they can.

5) After correcting the wrong statements, give your students the following questions to discuss in pairs. These questions use the words from the video:

1) How would you react if someone tried to prove to you that two plus two equals five?
2) Have you ever had an issue that you couldn’t handle well? If so, what happened after things got out of hand? Did you bring this on yourself or was it not your fault?
3) Do you think it would benefit the child if the teacher didn’t tell him about his mistake?
4) Do you consider yourself an open-minded person? What are you open to?
5) Do you think the information we read on the media is biased?
6) If you had to choose between keeping your integrity or your relationship with a person, what would you choose and why?
7) Have you ever been abused when you were at school or university?
8) Do you think the teacher was wrong to persist that she was doing the right thing?

6) After getting answers from the students, it’s time to focus on a bit of grammar. Tell your students to imagine that the video they’ve seen was a real event. Ask them which of the things below they think would happen in real life and why.

1) The teacher will have gotten $22000 from the principal.
2) The teacher will be looking for a new job.
3) The teacher won’t be teaching anybody again.
4) People will be talking about this for a long time.
5) The teacher will have moved to another country.
6) The teacher will have sued the principal of the school.
7) Danny will have become a successful person.
8) People will have proved that 2+2=22.

When they’re done, ask them whether we’re talking about the present, past or future and which tenses the statements are in.

7) Elicit what actions we use the Future Continuous for and when they take place. You can also point out that it’s also used for actions which will definitely happen in the future as a result of arrangements.

Tell your students that we also use the Future Continuous when we ask about someone’s plans for the near future politely (Especially if we want them to do something for us or if we want to offer to do something for them)

8) Ask your students to think about tomorrow and share with their partners what they will be doing at 6 AM, 9 AM, 12 PM, at 3 PM, at 6 PM, 8 PM, 10 PM and 12 AM? Get feedback by asking if each pair had the same answers for any period.

9) Tell your students that we use the Future Perfect for actions that will have finished before a stated time in the future. Ask them to choose which words and phrases are used with the Future Perfect. Elicit examples and focus on the form.

10) Give your students an activity to practice the Future Perfect.

11) Then, to give students a reason to talk about themselves using the tense, ask them to make predictions about themselves with the Future Perfect.
Ask them what they believe they will have achieved, done or completed. Get feedback from the students.

1) By 2021, I…
2) By next summer, I…
3) By the end of the year, my family…
4) By the time I’m 40, I…
5) By the end of next month, I…

12) Then, give them an activity to differentiate between the Future Continuous and the Future Perfect.

13) As a final activity, ask your students to work in pairs and think of what’s going to happen to education in the next 10-20 years. Tell them to give at least 5 changes that they expect to see. When getting feedback, ask them if they think these changes will benefit the students or not and ask them why they think so.

And there you have it! A motivating way to talk about education and practice or revise the two tenses.

If you’ve tried this lesson, leave a comment and share what your class thought of it!

And I have a question for you: Do you think the situation in the video could become a reality?

Leave a comment for us to know and have a good weekend! 🙂


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