Learning Targets

Classrooms then and now

Turn of century classroom Modern Skype Classroom
Photo credit: William Creswell, Classroom:
Flickr; Creative Commons attribution
Photo credit: Kim Cofino, Flat Classroom Skype:
Flickr; Creative Commons attribution

How different are the students?

Both classrooms appear intent on learning - engaged, staring at the camera. Did they learn the same way? Did they study as hard? Did students have the same learning targets?

In Learning Targets (ASCD 2012), Connie Moss and Susan Brookhart present a learning target theory of action. They are not instructional objectives, but rather methods for guiding student learning. They are written from the student's point of view, and they clearly explain the purpose for learning.

Knowing Your Learning Target, an excellent article in Educational Leadership, explains the concept and practice clearly. Especially important is the concept of meaningful sharing. How do you communicate it in the classroom? See example below.