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Education 6602

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Faye White

on 29 July 2013

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Transcript of Education 6602

Educational Objectives
- Help or Hindrance
By: Faye White
Elliot W. Eisner
Born in 1933
Grew up in Chicago
His focus of work has been in arts education, curriculum development, and curriculum evaluation/research
Received various awards and has five honorary degrees
Served as president of the National Art Education Association, the International Society for Education through Art, the American Research Association, and the John Dewey Society
Currently a Professor of Art and Education at Stanford University School of Education
Background Information
His work shares a number of important themes with John Dewey (on experience, creativity, education and art), Donald Schön (on reflective practice, 'think' in action) and Howard Gardner (around multiple intelligences).

to provide goals for curriculum
to guide course content
to evaluate the outcomes
3 Reasons for Educational Objectives:
Origins of Curriculum Objectives
They emerged from the work of Franklin Bobbitt, who based his work on the theory of the mind of the time which believed that “…transfer of learning occurred if and only if elements in one situation were identical to another (Thorndike, p.109).
As a result, specific curriculum objectives were developed so that learning could take place in every possible realm.
Pendleton (English), Guiler (arithmetic), and Billings (Social Studies) also followed Bobbitt with long lists of objectives
In the 1930's “…this curriculum movement collapsed under its own weight (p.110).”
By the late 1940's - 1950's curriculum development started again but in a slightly different form; objectives became stated in behavioural terms
Before we review Eisner's 4 key points, determining if educational objectives are a help or hindrance, what do you believe?

Eisner's Arguments
1. "The dynamic and complex process of instruction yields outcomes far too numerous to be specified in behavioural and content terms in advance" (p. 111).

What does this mean?
The instructional process is dynamic and influenced by such a multitude of outside factors such as student interest, teachable moments, personal interactions, etc. that setting measurable specific objectives becomes impossible.

2. "Setting educational objectives “…[fails] to recognize the constraints various subject matters place upon objectives" (p. 111).

What does this mean?
Some subjects such as math lend themselves easily to setting specific objectives, but other subjects such as art or creative writing are too subjective. He maintains that the end result in some subjects should be a “…surprise to both teacher and pupil" (p. 111).
3. "Curriculum theory which views educational objectives as standards by which to measure educational achievement overlooks those modes of achievement incapable of measurement" (p.113).

What does this mean?
Not all valuable outcomes are even measurable. Eisner argues that “…what is most educationally valuable is the development of that mode of curiosity, inventiveness, and insight that is capable of being described only in metaphoric or poetic terms" (p. 112). These outcomes are impossible to measure using stated educational objectives.
4. "Educational objectives need not precede the selection and organization of content"
(p. 114).

What does this mean?
One cannot set educational objectives as a roadmap to successful completion of instruction. He argues that so much of learning takes place as the curriculum is actually constructed; the objectives cannot be fully known until the ‘act of instruction’ has been completed (p. 113).
Reflection Questions
1. Some educational aims, Eisner suggests, cannot be "measured" in a quantitative sense but instead necessitate"judgment" on the teacher's part. What roles do educational objectives play in your classroom?

2. What evidence do you see or not see in your
school or district that objectives are being used for judgment purposes or as measurement for success?

3. Do you think we should be quantitatively measuring the creativeness of our students?

-Art and education cannot be separated
-Work in the arts promote many kinds of intellectual skills and forms of thinking
-Schools should help children create meaning from experience
-Education work is an expression of artistry

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