Merits and Demerits of Pre-Scripted Literacy Lessons in Zambia
Keywords: pre-scripted lessons, Zambia, literacy, merits, demerits
AbstractLesson plans are said to be valuable forms of teacher support because they can expand a repertoire of teaching practices. The government of the republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Education designed lessons and lesson procedures including materials for teachers to use in the teaching of literacy in grade three. Scripted lesson plans are a contentious issue in pedagogical discourse. The study sought to establish the merits and demerits of pre-scripted literacy lessons based on the experiences of teachers who implemented the scripted lessons. In depth interviews with grade three teachers of literacy as well as one standards officer and curriculum development officer were also included respectively. Regarding the merits of pre-scripted lessons, the study found that, scripts were a guide in the teaching of literacy and that they are helpful to ill prepared teachers who needed further pedagogic scaffolding after being newly employed by the government. Notwithstanding the merits, findings also showed that pre-scripted lessons were restrictive and took away the teacher’s creativity. Moreover, such lessons were not responsive to the diverse needs of learners in multilingual and multicultural classrooms where multiple identities were a norm. The study concludes by arguing for the sensitisation of teachers on the merits of pre-scripted lessons and what power teachers have towards the negotiation and recontextualization of such curriculum in providing learner centred inclusive pedagogy.