CUE Social Media Champion Cori Orlando recently had a chance to sit down with Rob Hunter, educator, school administrator and, son of the legendary Madeline Hunter. He had some very interesting thoughts about the way his mother’s work has been misinterpreted and misused, albeit with the best intentions.
The Madeline Hunter Lesson Plan was explained to me (as a first year, emergency credentialed) teacher as a”7 Step Lesson Plan”. The idea was that all the elements must be shown in order, to my administrator, for my formal evaluation. They even had the”7 Step Lesson Plan” on a 4 part NCR form (filled in by hand) to be submitted to my admin before my evaluation and he filled out another 4 part NCR form during my evaluation. He then put it in my “personnel file”. After I finished my first two lessons and didn’t “pass”, I was reduced to tears. How could I jam all that into ONE hour in a way that was authentic and appropriate for students? I was not a fan of the “7 Step Lesson Plan”.
Even so, Madeline’s elegance and terminology had made an indelible imprint on me.
During the heydey of NCLB, I watched as our craft of teaching was reduced to “getting through the book” and being on a certain page on a certain day. After 10 years of NCLB, we have inherited a group of younger educators who primarily know “lesson design” as getting through the textbook/workbook. Or buying a worksheet online.
So, in the year between 1997, my first as a teacher, and 2016 I wandered in the lesson design desert a lot. Lots of variations. Lots of failure.
But Madeline was in the back of my head, whispering about CFUs and Modeling and Guided Instruction.
When we decided to redo one of our events as a new lesson design-centric event – I blurted out that we should use Madeline’s 7 STEP Lesson Plan, but in a different, new and more flexible way. I proposed we use the idea of the Remix to refresh Madeline’s essential elements. I’m a big fan of innovation (easier and faster than invention), and I love the Remix Manifesto documentary., which is about how the masters in rock music have all stood on the shoulders of their predecessors. And that’s how, as a main strand at the CUE BOLD event last weekend, we were remixing Madeline Hunter.
Last Fall, I got to hang out with Rob Hunter (thanks Cori Orlando!) and he really gave me some amazing insight into how the 7 STEP Lesson plan was NOT Madeline’s vision. I was so stoked to hear that Madeline’s original thinking was much more fluid and flexible than I had had been indoctrinated into thinking! Madeline WAS A REMIXER back in the day!! The 7 Elements are not ALL required. There’s no order! And the vision was never for the lesson design model to be used for evaluation purposes. I was blown away to hear all this….
Recently Cori caught up with Rob to get his full side of the story, it’s worth a 4-minute watch!
Updated 5/10/18: More details on “Closure” misunderstandings from Rob Hunter (note from Jon: as it was explained to me, closure never made sense – I love knowing Madeline’s feeling on this as well!)
“Just an FYI, Closure is not one of Madeline’s elements. Ernie Stachoski (Sp?) the director of the Long Beach Unified professional development dept. added that. He worked with Madeline back in the day but Madeline didn’t agree with including closure. Closure is a psychological term to denote completion, end, final, etc. In education we most often do not want closure. We want kids to continue thinking about lessons beyond one episode. In other words, we don’t want closure. Ernie actually meant it as a kind of “What did we learn today” statement from the teacher or kids.”
A special #TeacherAppreciation gift for all of you: Over 70 Madeline Hunter Lessons, remixed per the CUE BOLD template: