Unit teaching

Unit teaching . Also known as the “Morrison Plan” or, in addition, the “Plan of the didactic units”, they are the origin of the current didactic units. It is closely related to the formal steps of Herbart, who is a strongly intellectual model.


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  • 1 Origin
    • 1 Phases
    • 2 Outline of the teaching units
    • 3 Types of teaching
  • 2 Sources


Designed by Henry C. Morrison, he served as the principal of secondary education at Milford High School from 1895 to 1899 . He taught mathematics , Latin , history , and science. Morrison is best remembered for the work and research he did at the University of Chicago . He formulated the “Morrison Plan”, which reorganized the teaching style. He studied problems with education and theories designed to address these problems.


  • The teacher conducts a survey about the student’s knowledge regarding the subject to study. Interrogations or inquiry tests may be used in this verification. In this way, the teacher tries to find out about what his students know about the unit and, also, tries to awake the interest of the class towards the subject to study, looking for, as Morrison says, “a genuine motivation”.
  • In possession of the data obtained in the first phase, the teacher makes a presentation of the matter, focusing the subject on the essentials and adapting it to the reality of the class. At the end of the presentation, the teacher will apply verification tests that deal with what was exposed, in order to make sure of the progress of learning , not yet with strict verification criteria, but as control of it. The students, knowing in advance that they will be subjected to this test, will endeavor to assimilate to the maximum the essential data exposed in this phase by the teacher.
  • The student must learn to expand for himself what the teacher presented. It will do so through directed study, research and experience, depending on the discipline in question. The teacher must be a persistent and skillful provider of new and better research materials, inspector and director of studies, and a permanent student of the individual difficulties of the students, in order to guide them. In this phase, a learning verification test can be carried out, so that the teacher can make sure that the fundamental elements of the unit have been assimilated.
  • It is carried out through a work of integration and review of learning, which can be guided by the teacher, but with the maximum participation of the student. It may constitute, for example, the preparation of a synoptic table that covers the entire unit, according to the subject matter and subject matter. Morrison insists that the organization be done regardless of notes or books and that the summary is clear and understandable. This phase should start when the teacher is convinced that the assimilation was satisfactory. The student is led to organize the matter that was studied, in its entirety and in a clear and understandable way. The student is led to summarize, in its main lines and main themes, the unit under study, while at the same time assuming a new attitude towards the focused issue.
  • Some students make the oral presentation of the unit -or part of it- as determined by the teacher; after their presentation, they must answer the questions of their classmates about the exposed matter. This work should not be a mere repetition or recitation, since exhibitors can express their criticism and personal points of view. Students who do not take part in the oral presentation are required to do so in writing.

Morrison foresees three times to consolidate learning: stimulation, assimilation and reaction. The first two phases, exploration and presentation, constitute stimulation for him; the third, assimilation, proper; the fourth and fifth, organization and recitation, reaction.

Outline of the teaching units

  • Pre-test (survey to initiate unit studies).
  • Teaching (presentation and elaboration of the subject).
  • Verification of learning.
  • Reorientation of learning (if necessary).
  • New verification and, if the results were satisfactory, a pre-test to start the study of the new unit.

Types of teaching

  • Scientific type, who is concerned with understanding and reflection, as occurs in mathematicsphysics , etc.
  • Type of Appreciation, which pays special attention to value judgments such as moral history, aesthetics, etc.
  • Types of plastic arts, which deals with action on specific elements, such as industrial arts, drawing, home economics, etc.
  • Type of languages ​​and arts, which attends to expression through the oral and written word as well as through musical and dramatic expressions.
  • A type of pure practice, which deals with practical aspects of the various disciplines.


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