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Teacher perspectives: learning intentions

Our teachers share how they use learning intentions to guide the learning in their classroom.
WILL: Think about what you want the students to know by the end of your lesson. So not that you just want them to have the ability to answer these questions, but what actual piece of understanding do they need. And a student’s far more likely to retain the information, the knowledge if they understand what’s happened and why. They’ve worked it out and not just be able to go through a rote calculation to get to the answer.
DREW: And I think it’s that idea of what do you want them to learn and what do you want them to know as opposed to what do you have to get them to do. And at the end of a unit of probability or a unit of solving equations or whatever, you being the teacher, you being the expert, you can say, well, what do I know? And what do I want them to be able to do the same as me or know the same as me? Then if you know what it is you want them to achieve, then you can think, right, how am I going to do that? I don’t need to have task A, task B, task C.
You know, it’s open for me to use whatever in order to get them to be able to understand what I want them understand.
FRANKIE: I think when you speak to children about their learning, you tend to ask the children what are they doing, and they’ll tell you what task they’re doing rather than what the outcome is and what the learning is. What it’s about, what they’ll be able to do by the end of it rather than what task they’ve done. And then, obviously, they’re more likely, then, to be able to talk about their learning rather than what they’ve done.
MARTIN: I have two objectives when I’m teaching. One that the students know and one that I know. And I’ll tell the students that we might be working with simultaneous equations. And that’s how they work. And in the lessons it’ll be subtracting one from the other or adding one to the other and eliminating the variable. And that’s the outcome’s solving and finding values of your two variables. But my objective behind that is probably just the manipulation.
In this video we hear from some of our teachers about the intended learning they plan for.
As you watch the video, consider why you think the teachers have talked about the importance of the ‘learning’ rather than the ‘task’ as the goal?


In the video, Martin explains that he doesn’t always share his deeper learning goal, with the learning intention shared with students being different from the intention he has in his mind.
Should teachers always share the learning goal with their students? If not, can you think of examples and why not sharing the learning goal is the best for the learners. Add your thoughts in the comments below.
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Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment

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