"If you don't know where you're going, you could end up someplace else." - Casey Stengel
Casey Stengel, a much-admired baseball coach, was talking about baseball when he made this remark. But he could easily have been speaking of teaching as well. Almost by definition, education has purposes, goals, and objectives, and a central task of teaching is to know what these are and to transform the objectives into tasks for students.
Otherwise, as Casey Stengel said, students may end up "someplace else" that neither they, nor the teacher, nor anyone else intends. If students know precisely what they are supposed to learn, they can focus their attention and effort more effectively. If the teacher knows precisely what students are supposed to learn, then the teacher can make better use of class time and choose and design assessments that are fair and valid. In the long run everyone benefits.
This chapter is about instructional planning, the systematic selection of objectives, and their design for use in the classroom. We will divide this idea into two parts, and discuss them one at a time. First, we will look at textbook objectives, the benefits, and the drawbacks. Second, we will rewrite objectives, to make them more specific and useful for your students.
Chapter Objectives: At the end of this chapter, readers will be able to
- identify if stated textbook objectives are S.M.A.R.T.
- revise textbook objectives to make them S.M.A.R.T.
- write S.M.A.R.T. objectives
- identify where objectives fall on Bloom's Taxonomy