Link | Vague Verbs: A Curricular Problem
Writing instructional objectives has always been a complex issue, matter of much debate, uncertainty, and ignorance. Michael Fordham questions the use of what he refers to as “vague verbs” and wonders if there is a need to for us to look at what we want our students to learn, as a process or a product.
“I remember struggling to find the ‘right verb’ to put into a learning objective: did I want them to ‘explain’ or to ‘evaluate’? Did I want them to ‘think critically’ or did I want them to ‘analyse’? I was fortunate enough to work in a school that did not insist on writing objectives on the board, but on the occasion that I did the pupils (who always seem most astute on this sort of thing) would want me to be clear about what the difference was between ‘explain’ and ‘evaluate’, and inevitably I found myself tied up in knots. Vague verbs as curricular constructs undermine our ability to define our educational aims.”