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Behavioral Definition of Education Objectives


by Ira S Steinberg 1972

The assumptions in the behavioral definition of educational objectives are rather straightforward. The student is to be educated or schooled. Those responsible for schooling him are responsible for setting the objectives of his schooling. To avoid vagueness and ambiguity in the setting of these objectives, they should be specified in terms of the intended testable outcomes of instruction or teaching. Ideally, a proper behaviorally defined objective (or BDO for short) should anticipate the question, "How shall I know if the student has met the course objective?" by specifying the course objectives as the answers to such questions. Objectives are to be stated as intended performances of the student after instruction.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 71, No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 73 Number 5, 1972, p. 143-163
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 19497, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 7:35:20 PM

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About the Author
  • Ira Steinberg
    Oberlin College
    E-mail Author
    IRA S. STEINBERG is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Social and Philosophical Foundations courses at Oberlin College.
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