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2.1 AIMS GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

A statement of curriculum intent includes the aims, goals and objectives to be achieved by learners. Aims are broadly phrased statements indicating what is hoped to be achieved by the curriculum in terms of general student behavior.

Aims are general statements that provide direction or intent to educational action. Aims are usually written in amorphous terms using words like: learn, know, understand, appreciate, and these are not directly measurable.

Goals or more specific, precisely worded statements of curriculum intent and are derived from aims. Goals are statements of educational intention which are more specific than aims. They may be in either amorphous language or in more specific behavioral terms.

Objectives take goals to the level of action and should “operationalize” the goals. Objectives are specific statements of curriculum intent, are derived from goals and are expressed in precise terms, including specific student behavior.

Objectives are brief, clear statements of learning outcomes of instruction. Attention is focused on the specific types of performances that the. students are expected to demonstrate at the end of instruction.

Objectives specify what learners will be able to do, or perform, to be considered competent. When writing objectives, be sure to describe the intended result of instruction rather than the process of instruction itself. Objectives are;

  • Specific statements of purpose to suggest immediate results.
  • Are more specific than goals and the specificity is increased as one advances from program objectives to a module and from a unit to lesson /lecture objectives.
  • Are statements of purpose to help our planners develop purposeful instructional programs
  • Are justifications for the need of providing education and a slogan to solicit support for relevant education
  • Help guide the educational process. You cannot decide whator how to teach, without knowing why you do it.
  • Try to improve the practice of education by getting clarity about educational ends
  • Are a test to be applied to the educational process giving a precise basis for evaluation and determining the degree to which the educational program is useful

Curriculum objectives of any program, institution or education system constitute the behaviors which the learners have to show or exhibit if the aim of the course is attained e.g.

  • What skills they should possess,
  • What knowledge and insights they should have,,
  • What attitudes and values they should develop.

Objectives are derived from analysis of the situation. They have to reflect

  • The needs of the society
  • The needs of the teacher, instructor/program manager
  • The needs of the learner/ users

There are specific considerations we need to make when making objectives.

These include:

  • Educational philosophy (and other philosophies/vision) of a country
  • Government education policy
  • The level of development in the country
  • The teaching force and its support systems
  • The course or program delivery systems
  • The contemporary society
  • International developments
  • The target population
  • National sets of values
  • The evaluation methods
  • Psychology, the way children and adults learn

Specification of goals (general purposes of a curriculum), objectives (more specific and concrete description of purposes/goals) and learning outcomes (what students will have learned/ be able to do) based on needs and situation analyses and ideologies about leaming, and teaching.

The goals and objectives statements should provide guidelines for teachers, materials writers, test writers, and learners. They should provide a focus for instruction and evaluation. Goals and objectives often focus on these learning areas: strategies, content, and experiences.

Objectives can be classified as knowledge objectives, skills objectives, attitudes and habits objectives, and appreciation objectives. Objectives may be written as; general or unit objectives, specific or instructional objectives, or behavioral objectives.

The terms general objectives and instructional objectives are more commonly used. Sometimes people were confused by the terminology. General objectives are the same as goals and instructional objectives are specific instructional objectives. When we write specific objectives we write them in behavioral terms.

Instructional objectives are classified as what students should do at the end of instruction, ie., at the end of a lesson. More specifically, we now write specific instructional objectives as specific learning outcomes..

These objectives must be clear, concise, and measurable. In order to write objectives using these three criteria, we must use action verbs that tell us exactly what students are to do.

Effective objectives are characterized by the presence of featuressuch as comprehensiveness, consistency, attainability, suitability, validityand specificity.

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