Revisiting the Compound Lessons Teaching Model

As part of the new and progressive method of facilitation (we don’t like to call it teaching or instruction anymore), compound lessons are emerging as a very effective way to deliver concepts and lessons that stick in the minds of the learners. Not only that, the learners are encouraged to go on a journey of discovery, willed to extract something of value out of any lesson they’re paying attention to, even if that value is rather unique to them and does not necessarily fit in with what conventional educational practices would dictate.

This is not to say that there aren’t any core lessons which are to be derived in more of a standardised manner, but rather just reinforcing the power of a method which ultimately proves that learners learn differently and uniquely. I’ll get right into a case study in an attempt to better explain the compound lessons teaching model and the subject of our case study is that of a film study lesson delivered as part of the language curriculum.

So if you’ve gone through your education and you’re an adult reading this right now, perhaps with children of your own, you will most definitely be familiar with the lesson of film study as part of your language curriculum. At some point in your school career you must have done film study in some or other way, which is fundamentally a lesson in comprehension if we’re to try and isolate just one major aspect of the lesson. Of course there are many other lessons to be learned, such as the use of language, interpretation of social and professional skills and perhaps even the ability to separate fantasy from reality – it all depends on the subject matter of the film of course.

This compound lessons teaching model takes all of this to the next level and beyond. Before we actually pick out a film to show the learners under the guise that it’s for their language curriculum, we deliver regular lessons in pretty much the standard learn-and-recite fashion, but on more of a lighter level. So we might be discussing careers for example and which skills and learning areas are best suited for specific careers, sometimes even going as far as exploring specific concepts and lessons which would best fit professionals working in specific careers.

For example, you need to be good at mathematics if you want to be an engineer; you’d perhaps need to be good at language comprehension if you wanted a career in law, etc.

What we then do is hand out problems identified in the film to be solved by the learners, for which some functional solutions are required for them to score good grades. For example, the suggestion of the need to consult with some car accident lawyers would be marked correct as a response to the question of how a certain character in the film could proceed to try and get themselves out of the legal trouble they find themselves in, having been involved in a car accident that suspiciously looks like it was their fault.