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Do 10 Year Olds Who Need Driver's Ed.?

Meanwhile, a teacher begins her lesson by presenting the learning outcome ...


Teacher : Today’s learning objective is "I can drive from the capitol building in Madison to Miller Park in Milwaukee in time for the game tonight."


Student 1: Why are we starting in Madison? We all live in different places?

Teacher: Ok. Let’s go with, "I can drive to Miller Park in Milwaukee in time for the game tonight."

Student 2: I don’t like baseball, why do I have to get to Miller Park?


Teacher: That’s true, how about I give you some choice in where you go. I can drive to a major landmark in Milwaukee in time for the game tonight.


Student 2: If I’m not going to the game why do I have to get there in time for the game?


Teacher: That’s true, how about I give you some choice in where you go. I can drive to a major landmark in Milwaukee in 12 hours.


Student 2: Where did you come up with 12 hours?  Seems kind of random.

Teacher: True, it is kind of random. 

Student 3: Does it really matter when we get to where we want to go?  


Teacher: I guess not as long as you get there. I can drive to a major landmark in Milwaukee. Better?

Student 4: I have always wanted to go to visit the Washington Monument. Do we have to stay in Milwaukee?

Teacher: No way. I can drive to a major landmark.  Alright, let’s get started.

Student 5: Um, none of us know how to drive.


Student 6: What is the point of this objective?

Teacher: I want you to be able to navigate to a location of your choice.

Student 5: So, why do we have to drive?

Teacher: I guess you don’t have to.  I just thought it would be a useful skill in achieving your goal.


Student 5: But, we’re all 10 years old.  We won’t be able to drive for another 5 years. Can’t that skill wait a few years?

Teacher: Alright, I can navigate to a major landmark.  Good?

Student 20: But I wanted to learn to drive!

Teacher:  No problem, lets head to the simulator.

If you can take away some of the unnecessary limits in your course objectives, it becomes easier for your students to add choice.  Remember start with the why of the objective and build it from there. 


Use verbs to define skills, but don't try to measure skills and content knowledge in the same objective.


In science, I have to separate objectives which ask to students to design experiments,  analyze data and apply theories.  These are different skills and are measured differently. 




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