Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Objectives: This week, I have been mostly learning French.

Every lesson must have an objective. This is phrased in a variety of jargons:

WALTs (We Are Learning To), LOBs (Learning Objectives), Objectifs (in French).

They break down into outcomes, usually following the form: All, Most, Some. Thus, for example, All students will be able to identify 8 holiday activities, Most students will be able to say which holiday activity they like and Some students will be able to give a reason why they like them.

It gives a lesson focus and purpose, but can be taken too far. According to the latest OFSTED criteria, all students should be aware of what their objectives are that lesson and should be able to rattle off its aims and outcomes when asked by an inspector (at any given point in the said lesson). As a fellow teacher pointed out to me today, the mechanical and contrived way in which we are now encouraged to train the students to parrot their objective is not dissimilar to the famous Fast Show sketch, Jesse's Diets:


Duchess said...

Well, okay, but don't get too locked in to the teacher maffia. They are, after all, responsible for a whole generation of young people who thing the nominative is more gentile than any oblique case and I have to go around in the guise of the Grammar Police pointing out the error of their ways (as in Colin Firth was cast as George to lure we heterosexuals into the cinema to see a film we might otherwise not have seen).

Not all that long ago I sat in a classroom meeting for parents to hear the teacher say, "Most lessons will be taken by Karen and I".

When they have spent the week mostly learning English they can complain about inspection.

Not A Textbook said...

I'm a bit confused - do you mean to criticise my English or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

Of course each lesson should have a purpose or a clear, well-defined aim, but the extent to which these objectives are cloaked in jargon can grate, especially when we are being told to ensure that every child must be able to parrot the wording of the objective for fear of the teacher facing censure.

As for a teacher complaining about inspection: that's par for the course!