Innovation during a Crisis: Advancement of Aviation Technology during WWI Lesson Plan
Context: This lesson is designed for students in the fifth to eight grade level. Many of these students will already have an extensive background in aviation and/or aviation history.
The lesson plan occurs in an informal class setting at a Museum as one day during a five day summer camp session named Wright Flyer to Right Now. The summer camp spends each day exploring a different period in aerospace technology starting with the early days of flight and ending with current space exploration. Since this lesson occurs in an informal summer camp setting, there are no formal education standards that are needed to be met.
Instructional Objective: One objective of the lesson is to teach the students a short history of aviation during World War I. Another goal is for students to learn how aviation technology (and technology in general) advances during times of crisis. By the end of the lesson the students should be able to make connections to other periods of crisis and technological innovations.
Knowledge facilitation/giving - . We are leveraging a knowledge facilitation stance with this as well to expose students to the nuts and bolts of aviation as this will supplement the lesson as to why aviation achieved what it did during WWI, a substantial component of the conflict as a whole. As stated by Grant, "Knowledge facilitating teachers generally believe that historical knowledge is a human construction." and "Historians of this ilk do not abandon the notion of factual knowledge, both they do assume that history is more than a particular stance toward knowledge, learning , and teaching....They believe that students come to them either knowing few of these facts or knowing them in confused ways." We chose to focus the activity on a side-subject of the war itself (the birth of military aviation) which provides a good facilitative environment that will spur opportunity to ask essential questions as mentioned above.
Pedagogical specialists - As we have two subject matter experts on this lesson, students will be exposed to traditional narrative and pedagogical formats to enhance the learning experience. Also as Grant states how students learn is as important as what they learn. "Determined not to continue a failing tradition, reformers promoted pedagogical diversity as a means of making how students learned as important as what they learned." We must also consider the fact that the Strait model (facilitation) does not always fit the "effective" teaching model but that in this case, we feel it does.
Analytic stance - Our lesson plan begins with the run up to World War I and the rush to make alliances, build up arms, and develop more lethal technologies. One of those technologies, aviation, was new to the world at the time and the major players were involved in the chaos of innovation. To leverage that kind of environment in the...