Sunday, March 6, 2011

Learning Objectives

image courtesy of earl53


In a few weeks time I will be writing my own thoughts on the purpose of education for purpos/ed but before that I thought I might let you know where I stand with regards to education now.

The Learning Objective has been a bane in my teaching since I first heard of it back when I began teaching in 1997. I was enthusiastic and wanted to impress so followed the examples of others and went along with what was considered best practice. Three years went by and my enthusiasm had waned to the point of leaving teaching in the UK for teaching English in Venezuela then teaching in a primary school in Gran Canaria. I honed my skills there as we never had to follow best practice according to governmental guidelines but that of our own. It was a revelation and one which helped me become the better teacher I am today. It wasn't until I returned to the UK that I discovered the learning objective teaching and learning culture, and how pervasive it had become throughout the whole profession since I had left the UK.

Every lesson I taught had to have an LO on display so that the children would know what they were going to learn or would have learned by the end of the lesson. I was subjected to WILF and WALT but never really got to know them that well so avoided them at all costs. But the LO still reared it's insistent head, like a spot that would keep returning and I was obliged 'for the good of the school in case we get an inspection' to make sure I used it in every lesson.

What about the children in my class? 
What about the children in all our classes? 
What exactly does an LO achieve? 
Who are they aimed at? 

I posted a similar question on Twitter but I have yet to find an answer that satisfies why using LO's is educationally beneficial. So please do leave a comment if you feel you have the answer.
I have stopped using them. I write a title, I discuss what we intend to do, I use ideas from the children, we build our learning together and work from that. LO's narrow learning to a prescribed assessment focus, a one size fits all tick sheet. That's not the purpose of education in my mind. The purpose I propose is what I will discuss on 19th March on this blog.