Not sharing is still caring

You didn’t share the learning intention….

When I’ve trained people to observe lessons, I’ve always made sure they never make this statement.  You might wonder why not; it seems such a vital piece of current pedagogy in teacher training and professional development.

The point is whether it is shared or not matters much less than whether the students actually are aware of it.  The feedback is more often ‘the students weren’t aware of the point of the lesson’.

Any observer should simply ignore the showing or telling of intentions, and simply ASK the students later in the lesson about what they are learning about.  From experience this shows you so much about how effective the sharing of intentions for a lesson was.

I’ve seen clear slides of objectives with oblivious students, and no slides with highly aware students.  Would all observers have observed these lessons appropriately?  (note most external bodies would)

So, ask yourself, have you made a slide of intentions, or have you actually considered how you are communicating with the students about what they are learning today, and perhaps more importantly, how they will know they’ve achieved in the lesson?