Mike Fishback offers this post titled Objectively Speaking where he identifies three reasons why we should question the wisdom behind writing the lesson's objective on the board.
- Communicating objectives to students sends a strong message about who is driving the learning.
- Communicating objectives to students gives away the ending before the uncovering even begins.
- Communicating objectives to students discourages students and teachers from pursuing potentially constructive lines of inquiry that appear tangential to the objectives.
I often share this clip of Alfie Kohn telling a story of a grade one class discovering the need for standardized measurement.
Watch this clip and think about what affect writing the objective on the board would have had on student learning.
I think we can all agree that writing the objective on the board might have ruined this experience in some way for some of the kids. When I hear that teachers are mandated to write the objectives on the board and are subject to being evaluated based on their compliance, I become concerned.
At the very least, teachers should be afforded the professional responsibility to decide whether writing the objective on the board is pedagogically appropriate.