Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Objective Boards

Everywhere on Pinterest I see ideas for objective boards, and all they do is turn me off. I completely understand that the ideas come from creative teachers trying to find ways to do what is expected of them. Yet there's something bothersome to me about posting objectives, outside of them taking up unnecessary space.

If you are an inquiry / constructivist teacher then you most likely understand; there are some things that just can't be a target. For example, there are many ways for children to multiply: repeated addition, equal groups, base-ten blocks, skip counting, arrays, or use charts. If you were to post an objective, you'd have to spend days teaching students the various strategies, choose one of those strategies and require that all children use them regardless of what works best for them, OR set up different stations for children to solve the same problem over and over again.

Ideally, objectives should be posted stating the what, and allowing the how to ve determined by the learner. However, we all know that with PLCs and data teams that is being eliminated. Why? Because for some reason, we've got teachers and leaders bamboozled into believing that if every teacher is teaching the same thing on the same day with the same materials, and teaching the same strategies to very different students then test scores will rise students are guaranteed to learn. But anyone who studies the brain and/or how people learn can tell you that's just not so. So we ditch the science to raise test scores. And as a result we create dystopic schools, where conformity is the norm, and the message delivered to children is: if you don't conform you are a failure.