Teacher Intention + learner interpretation = learning intention?


In my last post I considered the possibility of learning intention being the point at which the teacher’s intention and the learners interpretation of the intention come together. In order to explore this further I’ve had a go at an example:

I walk into a room as a teacher with a specific intention in mind – e.g. I want the pupils to begin to develop an understanding of Scottish  devolution. Eventually I want them to be able to discuss the merits and drawbacks of devolution, support their understanding with knowledge about devoution in Scotland, and to develop their own opinion. This is to be the first lesson of ten in this series.

I might write down the learning intention as:

 We  are going to find out what the word devolution means and how it relates to how Scotland is now governed. 

Certainly such an intention leads me to think about possible learning tasks which would lead to a successful learning outcome. For example: 

1.      What powers do I have as a teacher in this class?

2.    Brainstorm a list?

3.     Would any of these powers be better carried out if I passed them onto the pupils?

4.    Do we all agree?

5.     Do we need to have a vote? – Referendum?

6.    What will be the outcome of that vote?

7.     Who will now decide how these powers will be carried out?

8.    Do we need to set up some kind of government?

9.    What do we need to make this work?

10.   Now lets look at how devolution works in Scotland.

This certainly looks like it might be more productive than a teacher led, top down model of learning that could be used to cover the same content. 

However, I need to ensure that the children share the same understanding of the learning intention  it needs to become OUR learning intention!!

It’s at this point that we can work out our success criteria together. We can then review the task and decide if it will actually lead to us achieving our success criteria – perhaps they can come up with better suggestions for certain parts of the lesson ? We then go through the lesson and judge the lesson against our shared success criteria.

How does this sound?