Written by Fidelio @GuangzhouWorlda
It seems that there’s less possibility of finding out more statement in the objectives section of our lesson plans except “to know”, “to learn”, “to grasp” or even “to teach” and” to introduce”. Frankly, these are somehow aimless goals that ignore the navigation and the evaluation of class, with students’ real learning being set apart. DANGEROUS!
Teaching objectives, or more exactly: learning objectives, are bound to urge learners, along with teachers, to get on the right track and head for the designated direction. They constitute the global ideology and principle of a lesson. We can reasonably hold that the whole teaching and learning system is practically guided, governed and implemented by the “objectives”, which ranks the first essential factor of our teaching design.
This passage is going to talk about the classification of teaching objectives and how to analyze and prescribe them according to the actual learning.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
When we’re reflecting teaching objectives and the methods on evaluating learning performance, it is significant to be kept in mind that there are different levels or outcomes of learning and we need to make curtain distinction among them. Unaware of this, we are likely to focus on a single level to the detriment of others or just simply talk in the class.
For example, a teacher may teach a vast amount of factual information but never get around to teach student and realize that these skills require the prior learning of basic skills that must be integrated into these higher order skills.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives is the most renowned description of the levels of cognitive performance. The Taxonomy shows that learners must master lower objectives first before they can build on them to reach higher objectives and a teacher should focus on different levels during different steps of the whole teaching program. Here’s the Taxonomy for Knowledge-Based Goals
- To remember or recognize previously learned material.
- To grasp and get able to explain the meaning of material.
- To apply principles or methods to specific concrete situations.
- To separate a complex idea into its constituent parts and understand the organization and relationship between the parts.
- To create a new, integrated, meaningful construction of ideas and concepts from multiple sources or to propose an action plan or to formulate a new classification scheme
- To make a judgment of ideas or methods using external evidence or self-selected criteria substantiated by observations or acquired knowledge.
Knowledge represents the lowest section
in Bloom’s Taxonomy. It comes first only in the sense that it provides the basis for all other higher cognitive activities. Only after a learner is able to recall information is it possible to move on to the upper level of comprehension and give meaning to the information. The third is application, which refers to using knowledge or principles in new or real situations. The leaner at this level solves practical problems by applying information into simpler parts. The fifth, synthesis, consists of creating something that did not exist before by integrating information which were learned at earlier levels of the hierarchy. Finally comes the highest Evaluation, which is oriented towards the production of judgments based on previous outcomes of learning.
Now it’s quite apparent to see that the classification of teaching objectives stimulates teachers to help students acquire knowledge and skills at all of these various levels, laying the proper foundation for higher levels by first assuring mastery of lower objectives. Also, it provides a basis for developing measurement strategies to assess student performance at all stages of learning.
An Example of Application
This is the second lesson on Unit 10 Look at the Rainbow of Module 4 in the fifth volume of the governmental English textbook in Guangzhou, which is commonly used in the first semester of Grade 3.
Now the students have already learned some words of color in the first lesson (like red, green, yellow, blue, orange, purple and pink) and couple conversation patterns (-What’s this in English? – It’s a/an ____. as well as – What color is it in English? It’s ___. And even the dialogue learned in Grade 1 and Grade 2: – Do you like? What color do you like? etc.)
The teaching content of this lesson is the talking structure:
-What’s your favorite color／stationery / animal / toy / food?
This class is to get the students talk flexibly with the aimed patterns, associating their own knowledge scheme with real circumstances, about their school, classrooms and bedrooms, by the means of independent study and collaborative learning.
The core of the example is listed below.
- To correctly read and memorize all the vocabulary and conversation patterns.
- To comprehend the three related extended learning resources with the help of annotation and dictionary.
- To make a dialogue with the newly-learned patterns, words and some old ones
- To describe and talk fluently about the situation created by teachers, making use of all the related learned patterns and words.
- To consciously describe the similar situation in daily life.
- To sense the value of learning English in various kinds of English communication and take the initiative to playing a role in them.
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