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Objectives, goals and outcomes

Discussion in 'Primary' started by AllButterMuffin, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. AllButterMuffin

    AllButterMuffin New commenter

    Please help me to resolve a heated debate about writing objectives!
    Is "to write a paragraph" an objective, a learning goal or an outcome?

    In the olden days, I think the writing process, for a longer piece of extended writing, could look like this:
    1. introduce the outcome at the start of the unit (eg we're going to be writing a quest story based on our Greek Myths learning)
    2. Teach a series of lessons with individual specific skills-based objectives (whether they be at the reading, deepening or writing stage) leading towards that outcome (eg. to use a relative clause in my writing)
    3. Practice the skills in smaller chunks as you learn them, within the context
    4. Bring the whole lot together in a piece of extended writing.

    Any checklist given outlines the skills taught throughout the unit, provided after writing for the purposes of peer marking/editing etc.

    Is 'success criteria' out with the ark?
  2. dizzymai

    dizzymai New commenter

    Depends on your school!

    Learning objective is what you want the pupils to learn during that lesson. So it could be the same as the outcome (you want everyone to write a paragraph during the lesson). That;'s a short term outcome- longer term might be you want them to write a story.

    If the unit is about story writing you might have a lesson within the sequence about writing a paragraph, specifically if they don't know what a paragraph is.

    But you might have a learning objective running for few days To be able to write a quest story and for one lesson within that sequence you may focus on writing paragraphs (when to move onto another one, how to format your writing, how to organise and sequence paragraphs etc).

    Success criteria still stand- but often teachers now do them more fluidly- orally or pupil generated (what do we need to write a....?) so they have "no ceiling" and are not just a checklist.

    So for writing a paragraph you would have clear success criteria such as how to format, how each paragraph is linked to a specific aspect or topic or point in time.

    But if you are writing a story your success criteria could include organising the parts of your story into paragraphs (linked maybe to a story mountain).

    Does that help at all???!
  3. AllButterMuffin

    AllButterMuffin New commenter

    Thanks, dizzymai

    I can see how writing a paragraph could be a valid objective to do with structuring writing, say if you wanted the children to learn how to group and/ or sequence information or ideas.

    The actual objective was 'to write a descriptive paragraph'. Surely this is an outcome - the end result of you teaching them about descriptive language and how to apply it in their writing?

    I don't feel that this as a learning objective actually describes what the learning is in any meaningful way. I could have asked them to copy out a descriptive passage in their best handwriting; write 3 sentences using onomatopoeia; or demonstrate different structures of similes - any of them could have led to this outcome.

    Then when I return to my class and ask them what the features of descriptive writing are they probably wouldn't have a clue!
  4. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    What difference will it make to your teaching and to the children’s learning, changing the wording of the learning objective? None? Then stop worrying about it and move on to the next job on your list!!

    I have sat through whole staff meetings on the wording of LOs, and not once has it had an impact on the way I taught. It just changed what was written at the top of each child’s book that day.
  5. AllButterMuffin

    AllButterMuffin New commenter

    You are completely right (although personally I like to have a very clear, specific learning objective so that I can organise my thoughts better and win in arguments with ofsted). If I was planning lessons just for my own class and teaching lessons for my own class that I had planned myself, I'd just get on and do it the same was I have for years!! Successfully!!


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