Wednesday, February 18, 2009


My instructional unit topic is "Understanding Contracts--the Promises We Live By in a Civilized Society." Contracts and other binding agreements are a part of our everyday lives, including those entered into by juveniles; and the ramifications of these contracts, should they be breached by either party, must be understood by everyone who is a party to the contract. The agreement may be enforceable in our court system; therefore, it is very important for each party to the contract to understand clearly the many elements that must be considered in determining whether or not an agreement is a valid contract.

The following questions are my Curriculum-Framing Questions:

Essential Question - How are our everyday lives affected by contracts?

Unit Questions - How do genuine assent and consideration affect contracts? Who has the legal capacity to enter into a contract? When is a contract not valid because it lacks a legal purpose? When does a contract have to be in writing? What is sufficient consideration? What is duress and undue influence? When can a minor disaffirm a voidable contract? Must contracts be in any special form?

Content Questions - What are the requirements for a valid contract? What are the requirements for an offer and an acceptance? What are the ways that an offer may be ended? How can an offer be kept open? What are the exceptions to the requirement of mutual consideration? Are promises of financial support to charitable organizations enforceable? What is promissory estoppel? What are some examples of agreements that are illegal? What is fraud, and what are the elements of misrepresentation or concealment that must be present for fraud to exist? What contracts are subject to the Statute of Frauds? What contracts of minors cannot be disaffirmed? Does misstating one’s age bind a minor?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reflections of Intel Teaching Essentials Course

While it's still a bit too early for me to give an honest evaluation of this course, to the extent that I'll be able to use it to improve my teaching abilities, I can say that it has certainly presented me with many new alternatives to consider in order to improve my students' "higher-order thinking skills," 21st Century Skills, etc. I also appreciate the emphasis upon the use of multimedia guidelines and the very useful knowledge that this imparts.

Additionally, I am impressed with the teaching strategies provided by this course, especially the concepts of good instructional design, the curriculum-framing questions, and the methods of addressing standards. These concepts have certainly inspired me to begin thinking in a "new way" about former teaching styles.

I am also VERY impressed with the instructor's knowledge of these various alternatives, as well as his computer skills in addressing the implementation of these teaching strategies.