摘 要 iii
List of Tables IV
List of Figures V
Chapter One Introduction 1
1.1Research Background 1
1.2Research Purpose 2
1.3Research Significance 2
1.4Structure of the Thesis 3
Chapter Two Literature Review 4
2.1Definition of Related Concepts 4
2.1.1Definition of Instructional Objectives 4
2.1.2Definition of Instructional Objectives Design 5
2.2Categories of Instructional Objectives 6
2.2.1Bloom's Taxonomy of Instructional Objectives 6
2.2.2Gagne' s Classification of Educational Objectives 8
2.2.3Robert E. Mager's Behavioral Objectives 8
2.3Function of Instructional Objectives 9
2.4Related Researches on Instructional Objectives Abroad and at Home 10
2.4.1Researches on Categories of Instructional Objectives 10
2.4.2Researches on Principles of Instructional Objectives Design 11
2.4.3Researches on Description of Instructional Objectives Design 12
2.4.4Researches on the Current Situation of English Instructional Objectives
2.5 Theoretical Bases 15
2.5.1ABCD Model 15
2.5.2English Core Competencies 16
2.5.3SMART Principle 17
Chapter Three Methodology 19
3.1Research Questions 19
3.2Research Participants 19
3.3Research Instruments 20
3.3.1Questionnaires Survey 20
3.3.2Content Analysis 22
3.3.3Classroom Observation 22
3.4Research Procedure 22
3.5Data Collection and Analysis 23
Chapter Four Data Analysis and Discussion 25
4.1Current Situation of English Teachers' Cognition of Instructional Objectives in
Senior High School 25
4.1.1Understanding of Instructional Objectives 26
4.1.2Attitude towards Instructional Objectives Design 28
4.1.3Understanding of the Bases of Instructional Objectives Design 29
4.1.4Understanding of Design and Implementation of Instructional Objectives31
4.1.5Understanding of Reflection and Development of Instructional Objectives
4.2Current Situation of English Teachers' Design of Instructional Objectives in
Senior High School 34
4.2.1Description of Instructional Objectives Based on ABCD Models 34
4.2.2Content Orientation of Instructional Objectives Based on English Core
4.2.3Principles of Instructional Objectives Based on SMART Principle 40
4.3Current Situation of Implementation of Instructional Objectives in Senior High
School English Teaching 44
4.3.1Implementation of Instructional Objectives 44
4.3.2Attainment of Instructional Objectives 46
4.3.3Students' Engagement 47
4.3.4Reflection and Evaluation 49
Chapter Five Conclusion 50
5.1 Major Findings 50
5.2Pedagogical Implications 51
5.3Research Deficiencies and Future Prospects 54
Appendix One Questionnaire 60
Appendix Two Classroom Observation 64
About the Author 65
List of Tables
Table 3.1 Information of Research Participants 20
Table 3.2 Reliability Statistics of Questionnaire 21
Table 3.3 KMO and Bartlett' s Test of Questionnaire 21
Table 3.4 Dimensions and Questions of the Questionnaire 21
Table 4.1 Action Verbs in Instructional Objectives 37
Table 4.2 Distribution of instructional objectives based on SMART principle 41
List of Figures
Figure 4.1 The Average Score of Five dimensions 25
Figure 4.2 Understanding of Instructional Objectives 27
Figure 4.3 The Attitude of Instructional Objectives 28
Figure 4.4 Understanding of the Bases of Establishing Instructional Objectives 29
Figure 4.5 Understanding of Design and Implementation 31
Figure 4.6 Understanding of Reflection and Development 33
Figure 4.7 Distribution of ABCD Models in Teaching Plans 35
Figure 4.8 Distribution of Subject in Instructional Objectives 36
Figure 4.9 Content Orientation of Instructional Objectives 40
Figure 4.10 Distribution of Instructional Objectives Based on SMART Principle.. 41
Figure 4.11 Implementation of Instructional Objectives 44
Figure 4.12 Attainment of Instructional Objectives 47
Figure 4.13 Students' Engagement 48
Figure 4.14 The Reflection and Evaluation of Instructional Objectives 49
Chapter One Introduction
This chapter is an introduction that presents the background of the research, the purpose of the research, the significance of the research, and the organization of the thesis.
American educator Bloom once said that effective teaching begins with the desired objectives. Classroom instructional objective is the soul of teachers' teaching activities and the criterion for measuring the effectiveness of teaching activities. Whether the instructional objectives is scientific and reasonable directly affects the whole course of teaching implementation, and largely determines the effectiveness and quality of classroom teaching.
The 2020 Edition of English Curriculum Standards for Regular High School states that the overall aim of the English curriculum for senior high schools is to fully implement the Party' s education policy, to foster and practice the core values of socialism, to implement the fundamental task of establishing moral education, to further promote the development of students' core competencies in English on the basis of compulsory education, and to cultivate students with Chinese sentiments, international perspectives and cross-cultural communication skills, and cross-cultural communication skills. Moreover, the New Curriculum Standard also proposes four core competencies, including language proficiency, cultural awareness, thinking quality, and learning ability. In classroom teaching, teachers should take the overall aim of the curriculum as a guideline and decompose it so that the instructional objectives are designed to be reflected and implemented in each lesson. However, in traditional senior high school English classroom teaching, teachers often pay too much attention on the design of the teaching process, the selection of teaching methods and teaching means, but are more arbitrary in the design of instructional objectives, ignoring the scientific and reasonable nature of instructional objectives. Irregular instructional objectives cannot effectively guide teaching and teaching evaluation, but affect the effectiveness of classroom teaching and even the success or failure of education reform. Therefore, it is necessary to study the current situation of senior high school English teachers' cognition, design and implementation of instructional objectives, so that to find out the problems and propose corresponding countermeasures.
This thesis aims at exploring the current situation of instructional objectives design in senior high school English teaching under this background by applying questionnaire, content analysis and classroom observation. And then the author proposes suggestions and strategies for senior high school English teachers on the design of instructional objectives according to the problems reflected in the current situation. It is hoped to provide reference and guidance for senior high school English teachers in the design of instructional objectives, improve the teaching effect and adapt to the new teaching situation.
The purpose of this thesis is to find out the problems existing in the cognition, design, and implementation of instructional objectives of senior high school English teachers through the research of the current situation of instructional objectives design, so as to put forward the corresponding solutions to improve the teaching quality.
Firstly, from the theoretical perspective, the thesis could complement the deficiencies in previous research on instructional objectives. Under the newly promulgated new curriculum standards, the research can find out the new situation, new problems, and new challenges in senior high school English instructional objectives design.
Secondly, from the practical perspective, this study can provide certain theoretical and practical guidance for the design of instructional objectives of senior high school English teachers, which can help teachers to correct and update the concept and improve the methods of instructional objectives design, so as to improve the level and effectiveness of English teaching. Meanwhile, it is valuable to promote the standardization and systematicness of the design of instructional objectives in senior high schools. The formulation of scientific and reasonable instructional objectives in senior high school is conducive to stimulating students' interest and motivation in learning English, promoting their sustainable learning, improving their learning effect, promoting their all-round development and laying a solid foundation for training outstanding talents.
1.4Structure of the Thesis
The thesis contains a total of five sections. Chapter 1, the introduction of the thesis, mainly describes the background, purpose, significance, and structure of the thesis. Chapter 2 is the literature review, including the referenced theories, related studies aboard and at home, the limitations of present studies and the theoretical bases. Chapter 3 is the methodology of the research, which consists of research questions, research participant, research instruments, research procedure and data collection and analysis. Chapter 4 is the results and discussion, which analyzes the current situation of instructional objectives design of senior high school English teaching through questionnaire, interview, content analysis and classroom observation. Chapter 5 is the conclusion of the thesis, which elaborates the major findings, pedagogical implications and suggestions for other researches.
Chapter Two Literature Review
In this chapter, the author will firstly introduce some core definitions and relative theories about instructional objectives design. Then, the author will sort out and review the domestic and abroad studies on instructional objectives design.
2.1Definition of Related Concepts
2.1.1Definition of Instructional Objectives
The first one who proposed the instructional objective was American scholar Taylor, but the definition of it was not clearly defined at that time. Subsequently, many scholars began to make different definitions of instructional objectives. Bloom (1956) proposed that the instructional objectives is the obvious concept of the expected change of the learner's way in the teaching process. Mel (1975) first defined instructional objectives as “the direction of struggle associated with a specific teaching process”. Robert Mager (1984) describes an objective as “a set of words and/or pictures and diagrams that let others know what you intend for your students to achieve”. It does not describe what the teacher wants to do, but rather the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that the teacher wants the students to produce as a result of their learning. According to Brown (2001), objectives provide the basis for creating, shaping, and revising courses. Similar to Brown, Richards (2008) said that the objectives refer to the statement of the specific changes to be achieved in the program and the results of the analysis of the different components of the goal.
In the Dictionary of Education edited by Gu Mingyuan, the instructional objectives are defined as the “learning standard that students expect to achieve after the teacher and students finish teaching.” Zhong Qiquan (1989) proposed that when the learner completes the learning process, the instructional objectives are observable specific behaviors or evaluative learning effect. Mao Jiarui and Sun Kongyi (2001) believe that instructional objectives are the standards of educational activities, as well as the goals, directions and requirements of educational activities. The formulation of instructional objectives is based on social development. Professor Pei Dina (2007) of Beijing Normal University believes that instructional objectives refer to the teaching results that are predetermined by the subject of teaching activities, which need to be achieved in specific teaching activities, and that can be measured using existing technical means. Professor Xie Limin (2007) believes that instructional objectives refer to the standards to be achieved for the expected results of teaching activities, which can be specifically divided into curriculum goals, unit goals, and classroom objectives. In addition, Lu Ziwen (2009) believes that the instructional objectives are the concrete expression of teachers' educational values in teaching.
Although the above statements differ, there is a commonality. The instructional objectives are the expected standard at the end of the teaching activity. Therefore, combined with the understanding of the academic research, this study defines the “instructional objectives” as “the expected result state that students will achieve after a certain stage of teaching activities.”
2.1.2Definition of Instructional Objectives Design
Instructional design generally includes instructional objectives design, teaching content design, teaching method design, learning situation analysis and so on. In the process of instructional design, the design of instructional objectives is the most important part. Jin Jianshe (2004) proposed that the instructional objectives design is the embodiment of modern curriculum concept, new curriculum and perspective teaching. Yan Yan (2010) comprehensively expounds the instructional objectives design. She holds the point that instructional objectives design should make sure the completion of task during the teaching process according to its status and level, combined with the actual situation of students and existing education technology and education resources. At the same time, instructional objectives design should also clarify how to determine whether to complete the task and how to perfect the process of classroom instructional objectives so as to help teachers to design appropriate instructional objectives and teaching activities.
According to the previous studies, the author believes that instructional objectives design is a process in which teachers are guided by specific teaching concepts, based on curriculum standards, teaching materials and actual learning, determine instructional objectives and develop reasonable and specific instructional objectives under the guidance of instructional objectives design theory.
2.2Categories of Instructional Objectives
2.2.1Bloom's Taxonomy of Instructional Objectives
The famous American educational psychologist Bloom and his colleagues proposed a famous classification system in the 1950s, dividing instructional objectives into three areas, cognition, emotion, and psychomotor. The objectives of each field are divided into several sub-fields from low-level to high-level.
Bloom divides the instructional objectives of the cognitive domain into six sub-categories from low-level to high-level. They are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Except for the first level “knowledge”, the other five levels all belong to the category of high-level intellectual skills. The specific connotations of these six categories are as follows.
Knowledge is the lowest level of ability in the cognitive domain. It refers to the memory of previously learned content. This objective requires the mental process of memory, emphasizing the characteristics of the material itself and the process of retelling, processing and extracting the material.
Comprehension is the simplest understanding, mainly referring to the ability to grasp the meaning of knowledge materials. For example, you can describe the definition or principle of a concept in your own words.
Application refers to the use of acquired knowledge, skills, methods, and rules to solve a problem in a new situation. Students tend to use prior knowledge to solve problems, identify connections and relationships and how they apply in new situations.
Analysis means compartmentalizing existing information, finding relationships, causes, and supporting evidence.
Synthesis refers to the ability to combine various elements and parts into a whole and form a new form and structure. For example, you can synthesize various materials and get the correct conclusion.
Evaluation refers to the ability to judge the value of materials or methods for a specific purpose. It is at the highest level of cognitive skills and contains all the elements of the above five abilities.
This domain deals with developing learners' feelings and emotions, especially in modifying their attitudes towards things and persons. It also deals with interests, appreciations and modes of adjustment.
Receiving refers to willingness to attend to or listen to a given stimuli. This is the first level in the inculcation of a spirit of courage in a learner.
Responding refers to the response that comes from the learner as a result of attending to or receiving stimuli presented.
Valuing refers to the acceptance of the value being taught as “courage”, “honesty” by the learner. It is an internalizing process involving accepting the value to one that is contrary to it, and commitment to live the value.
Organizing means bringing together of different values and organizing them into a value system which eventually leads to character formation.
Characterization is the last stage and the final or end result of what learners is expected to become as a result of exposure to the learning material in the affective domain. It is expected at this stage that the learner' s behaviour would have been modified or his/her attitude changed for the better, and that the new behaviour learnt becomes a permanent feature or aspect of his/ her character.
2.2.2Gagne' s Classification of Educational Objectives
Gagne, a renowned educational psychologist, regarded verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, motor skills and attitudes as the five major categories of learning outcomes based on learning situations. There is no hierarchical relationship between these five types of learning, the first three of which belong to the cognitive domain, “motor skills” to the motor skills domain, and “attitudes” to the affective domain.
2.2.3Robert E. Mager's Behavioral Objectives
Mager put forward the theory and technology of behavior objectives based on behaviorist psychology in 1962. Behavioral objectives emphasize behavior changes and changing conditions after learning. Mager summarized it into three elements, performance, conditions, and criteria.
Performance objectives should use observable behaviors to express instructional objectives. When expressing objectives, it should avoid using verbs that describe internal mental processes, such as “knowing”, “understanding”, “appreciating”, “remembering”, etc. instead of using behavioral verbs, such as “reciting”, “interpreting”, “Select”, “write out”, etc. Using behavioral verbs, it will be easy to observe whether and when the target behavior is achieved.
The conditional elements in the behavior objectives indicate the conditions under which the learner's learning results are evaluated. The conditions for the occurrence of behavior usually include the following factors: environmental factors, human factors, time factors, problem clarity factors
The behavioral standard is the minimum requirement for the behavior to measure the results of learning. Behavioral objectives are measurable through the specific description of behavioral standards. Standard expressions are generally related to questions such as “how good is”, “how accurate is”, “how complete is”, “how much time is needed”, and “what is the quality requirement”.
2.3Function of Instructional Objectives
(1) The guiding function
The guiding function is embodied in the entire teaching activity process, which is manifested in three aspects. Primarily, it can instruct teachers in the selection and use of teaching content, teaching methods, teaching tools, and teaching media. Secondly, it can direct students' learning. The teacher presents the instructional objectives to the students before formal teaching to enable students to have a certain direction in their learning. Thirdly, instructional objectives can be used as an objective basis for evaluating the quality or effectiveness of teaching. When the standards of teaching and evaluation are consistent, subjectivity and arbitrariness in teaching can be avoided.
(2) The regulatory function
The regulatory function means that the instructional objectives are linked with feedback and control. After the teacher has clear instructional objectives, through continuous information feedback, he or she can correct the deviations in the teaching activities time and time again, so that all teaching activities can be based on the instructional objectives. The regulation of instructional objectives can avoid the waste of teachers' teaching time, students' learning time, and school' s teaching resources, thereby improving the effect and quality of teaching.
(3)The motivation function
When moderately difficult instructional objectives meets the internal needs of students, it can make students generate expectations of doing new tasks, stimulate students' learning motivation, arouse students' interest in learning and desire to achieve learning objectives, and transform them into motivation for students to actively participate in teaching activities.
(4)The evaluation function
The evaluation function of instructional objectives refers to its evaluation and measurement of instructional outcomes. Teaching can be evaluated by multiple criteria, such as students' test scores, students' classroom participation, etc., but the only objective and reliable standard is specific and clear classroom instructional objectives. After the teaching is over, the teaching effect should be measured against the instructional objectives, and whether the evaluation has reached the instructional objectives.
In short, the instructional objectives are designed before classroom teaching, proposed at the beginning of classroom teaching, carried out throughout the classroom teaching, achieved in the classroom teaching, and evaluated after the classroom teaching. It assumes the functions of guidance, regulation, motivation, and evaluation. It can reduce the blindness and randomness of teaching, and improve the effect and quality of teaching.
2.4Related Researches on Instructional Objectives Abroad and at Home
2.4.1Researches on Categories of Instructional Objectives
In terms of the categories of instructional objectives, in the 1930s, in the context of the American economic crisis, Tyler proposed an educational objective system aimed at promoting evaluation. He believes that educational goals include content objects and behavior descriptions. In the 1950s, Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives opened the curtain for human beings to conduct systematic research on the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Bloom divides educational goals into three areas cognition, emotion, and motor skills. In the 1960s, Robert Mager believed that a complete instructional objective should include the three basic elements of behavior, conditions and standards. In the specific teaching practice, people think it is necessary to add the description of the teaching object to the instructional objectives. In 1983, Armstrong and Sevige proposed the ABCD instructional objective writing model. In the 1970s, Gagne classified learning outcomes into five categories: intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, verbal information, motor skills, and attitudes.The five-component method of writing instructional objective composed of performance verbs, action verbs, tools, restrictions and special conditions, and objects. In the 1980s and 1990s, Marzano proposed his own classification of educational goals based on human behavior patterns.
The classification of instructional objectives in China has also developed, but most of them are developed and discussed on the basis of existing foreign theories. Shi Liangfang changed the six-level goal of the cognitive domain to the four-level goal of “knowing, understanding, mastering, and learning”. Professor Wu Yexian and others put forward their own opinions on the basis of summing up the research results of others. They divided the instructional objectives into three categories: cognitive learning level, motor skills learning level and emotional learning level. The sub-field has been adjusted and specific regulations have been made on the results achieved in each part.
Looking at the classification research of instructional objectives at home and abroad, the classification methods are different, and some have similar content but each has their own characteristics. These theories have informed the scientific and rational formulation of instructional objectives.
2.4.2Researches on Principles of Instructional Objectives Design
The SMART principle is the most famous in the design of instructional objectives abroad. It was put forward as a principle of management in The Practice of Management by American management scientist Peter F. Drucker (2006). But over time, this principle is considered to be the principle of designing instructional objectives. Grant Wiggins mentioned the process of determining the expected results, that is, the instructional objectives: the determined goals, what is the expected understanding, what basic questions we need to think about, and as the basis of unit learning, students will learn those knowledge and skills. James M. Cooper mentioned that effective teaching goals must have the characteristics of being student-centered, describing appropriate learning results, clear, easy to understand and observable, and enumerating some student-centered instructional objectives design.
Chinese scholars have also studied the principles of instructional objectives design. Liu Yanwen and Dong Yan (2009) summarized the principles of instructional objectives design as the combination of unity and flexibility, operability and experience, standard and overall, and preset and generate. Zhang Zhiyong (1992) mentioned the principles of instructional objectives design including developmental, structured, integrated, hierarchical, and overall principles in his work. Bao Feng (2011) mentioned that should be followed to improve the effectiveness of the design of instructional objectives: student-oriented, operable and testing, and layered settings. Liu Xiaoxia (2014) also puts forward four principles of instructional objectives design, scientific and standardization, specificity and feasibility, comprehensiveness and stratification, guidance and orientation.
2.4.3Researches on Description of Instructional Objectives Design
The main achievements of the research on the statement of instructional objectives are abroad. In 1962, Mager proposed the theory and technology of behavior goals based on behaviorist psychology. Mager proposed that there are three elements in the statement goal: behavior verbs, behavior conditions, and behavior criteria. Armstrong and Savage set the ABCD model for instructional objectives. In 1978, Glenn proposed a combination of internal processes and explicit behaviors to express instructional objectives. American curriculum scholar Eisner proposed the expressive objectives statement method, which requires that the activities students should participate in should be clearly specified, but it is not necessary to specify what students will get. Foreign research results on instructional objectives have reference and guiding significance for related research on instructional objectives.
Chinese scholars also discussed the method of statement of instructional objectives. Chen Xiaohui, Sun Jinhua pointed out the four points of instructional objectives statement: the subject is the student, the goal is observable and measurable, the statement should reflect the type of learning, and the instructional objectives should be complete. Zhao Guoqiang (2010) put forward the method of “learning method + behavior audience + behavior state or degree + behavior verb + knowledge”. Mao Wei and Sheng Qunli (2015) discussed internal and external instructional objectives. They believe that when teachers set instructional objectives, they should specify the inner behavior of students. This method refers to clearly stipulating the activities and situations that learners should participate in. When stating the objectives, only the behaviors and attitudes that the learners should show in the activities are described, but no measurable learning results are proposed. The description method of the instructional objectives can be selected. Teachers can choose different description methods according to the actual needs of teaching and the corresponding content of the instructional objectives.
2.4.4Researches on the Current Situation of English Instructional Objectives Design
Chen Liqin (2009) systematically analyzed some problems in the design of English instructional objectives. It clarified the specific methods of designing English instructional objectives by applying behavioral objective theory. Li Yumei (2010) pointed out the common problems in the design of instructional objectives and used specific instructional objectives cases to show us the many problems in high school English instructional objectives. The subject is misplaced, the direction of the action is unclear, the three-dimensional goal is incomplete, and the goal is large and empty, and specific suggestions for improvement and modification are provided. Bu Yuhua (2011) pointed out that there are currently four categories of problems in the design of English instructional objectives for primary schools in country-separation of objectives, unclear levels, abstraction, simplification and superficiality, and put forward suggestions. Wang Liyuan (2008) also pointed out the problems in the instructional objectives, vague understanding of the connotation of the instructional objectives, inadequate attention, lack of the ability to analyze the instructional objectives.
Xia Guming (2009) discussed three strategies that should be adopted to design English instructional objectives: objectives integration strategy, objectives dislocation strategy, objectives monitoring strategy, so as to reduce teaching costs and improve teaching efficiency. Li Wei (2013) pointed out that the classification of five learning outcomes proposed by Gagne is the same as the five learning objectives of the New Curriculum Standards. And it provides the basis for the scientific and rational formulation of instructional objectives. For example, let students clearly understand the instructional objectives, so that they can learn more purposefully, thereby improving their learning efficiency. Zeng Jiayan (2012) elaborated on the relationship between the design of instructional objectives and effective teaching to illustrate the importance of it. He believes that only on the basis of a serious and in-depth analysis of the English curriculum standards, students' learning conditions and teaching content, and determining the instructional objectives, can it play a guiding role in classroom teaching and ultimately improve the effectiveness of classroom teaching. Meng (2013) discussed the importance of instructional objectives design and the basis of goal design, and proposed that teachers should treat the design of classroom instructional objectives with a research attitude. Teachers should be good at evaluating and reflecting on the design of instructional objectives, understanding, thinking and summarizing the experience of each instructional objectives design practice. Yu Tianyi emphasized that a familiar analysis of high school English curriculum objectives and instructional objectives design, also the importance of high school English teachers, as well as the misunderstandings and problems in the understanding and design of instructional objectives for high school English teachers. Li Chengbin (2020) proposed that the design of instructional objectives should be considered from multiple perspectives and three-dimensional thinking. The statement of specific classroom instructional objectives should consider timeliness and comprehensiveness.
All in all, based on a comprehensive review of researches of instructional objectives at home and abroad, the author found that instructional objectives have always been concerned by scholars and front-line teachers at home and abroad with abundant result. The research abroad mainly focuses on theoretical research, such as the classification of classroom instructional objectives, the expression of classroom instructional objectives, the design principles of instructional objectives, etc. Domestic researches on English instructional objectives design mainly focus on problems and strategies, and most of them are theoretical explorations. A few scholars devote to empirical researches, but the samples are too small and the reliability is low. In addition, a large amount of the researches on instructional objectives comes from front-line English teachers, and the research results are mainly reflective summaries of teaching experience, which are not extensive enough.
In 1962, Mager proposed the theory and technology of behavioral objectives based on behaviorist psychology and proposed that there are three elements in the statement of objective: behavior verbs, behavior conditions, and behavior criteria. Armstrong and Savage set the ABCD ，Model for instructional objectives.
A represents audience, which describes the intended learner or end user of the instruction.Instructional objectives should describe student behavior, not teacher behavior. In other words, the learner should be the subject of the instructional objectives.
B represents behaviors. Use action verbs to write observable and measurable behavior that shows mastery of the objective.
C represents condition, which are specific ranges or constraints that affect the student' s ability to produce learning outcomes. If any, state the condition under which behavior is to be performed.
D represents degree, which is the minimum level of student performance on the instructional objectives that measures the degree of student performance or learning outcomes. If possible, teachers state the criterion for acceptable performance, speed, accuracy, quality, etc.
2.5.2English Core Competencies
English core competencies are becoming a new catalyst for curriculum reform. In order to further develop senior high school English teaching under the guidance of the core competencies, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the English core competencies. The so-called core quality refers to the essential characters and key abilities that students should have to adapt to life-long development and social development, including language competence, cultural awareness, thinking quality and learning ability.
Language competence refers to the ability to understand and express meaning through listening, speaking, reading and writing in a social environment, as well as to the language awareness and sense of language developed in the course of acquiring and utilizing language. English language proficiency is an essential element of English core competencies and helps students broaden their international perspective and communicate successfully across cultures.
Cultural awareness refers to the comprehension of both Chinese and foreign cultures and the identification with excellent cultures. It is the cross-cultural cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral orientations that students exhibit in the process of globalization. The cultivation of cultural awareness helps students enhance their national identity and build cultural confidence. In the process of developing cultural awareness, students can learn to monitor and adjust their behavior, thus becoming well-rounded individuals with a sense of social responsibility.
Thinking quality describes the degree to which students think logically, critically, and creatively. The cultivation of thinking quality helps to enhance students' skills in analyzing problems and solving them, such as discriminating and analyzing specific occurrences in language and culture, sorting and generalizing information, building new concepts, analyzing logical relationships of inferred information, judging opinions, and expressing personal opinions creatively.
Learning ability refers to students' awareness and ability to actively use and initiate adaptation of English learning strategies, expand English learning ways, and strive to improve the efficiency of English learning. The improvement of learning ability contributes greatly to other literacies. It is especially important for students to develop their learning ability in English.
The SMART principle is the most famous in the design of instructional objectives abroad. It was put forward by American management scientist Peter F. Drucker.
S stands for specific. Specific instructional objectives can clearly express the learning behavior standards of learners, and let learners know what to do and how to do it. According to the requirements of curriculum standards, teachers should design specific instructional objectives according to the content of the textbook and students' cognitive structure, the level of ability, interest and habit.
M stands for measurable. The design of instructional objectives should follow the principle of measurability. This means that teachers should design measurable and evaluable instructional objectives to ensure the smooth implementation of teaching and learning activities, faster to improve the efficiency of classroom teaching. In the design of English instructional objectives, teachers can describe them through some measurable verbs.
A stands for attainable. The New Curriculum Standards pays attention to and respects the development needs of different students, and provides senior high school English courses suitable for their own development, which reflects the emphasis on individual differences. Different instructional objectives should be developed to meet the needs of students at different ability levels.
R stands for relevant. The knowledge of English is very coherent. There are also greater connections and even integration between the different units of the English textbook. Making English instructional objectives based on the principle of relevance is not only conducive to the interrelation and gradual progress of the objectives, but also can effectively improve the students' English application ability. Secondly, when teachers design instructional objectives, they should fully consider the relevance with the New Curriculum Standards, textbook and students' real life, so that students can apply what they have learned, stimulate their interest in learning English, and make them love English, so as to learn English well.
T stands for timed. The implementation of instructional objectives needs to have a time limit. When designing instructional objectives, teachers should not only arrange the teaching process and time, but also arrange the time to achieve the designed instructional objectives, which is conducive to the teachers' control of the pace of the class.
Chapter Three Methodology
This chapter introduce the methodology of the thesis, which consists of five parts, research questions, research participants, research instruments, research procedures, data collection and data analysis.
Based on the overview of the related research, this thesis aims to explore the current situation of English teachers' instructional objective design for teaching in senior high school. And it tries to answer the following three questions.
(1)What is the current situation of senior high school English teachers' cognition of instructional objectives ?
(2)What is the current situation of senior high school English teachers' design of instructional objectives?
(3)What's the current situation of senior high school English teachers' implementation of instructional objectives design ?
This thesis regards 120 English teachers from five senior high schools in Yantai, Shandong Province as the participants. All of the English teachers in these schools apply the new English textbooks published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press in 2019. The teachers' information is shown in Table 3.1.
Table 3.1 Information of Research Participants
Demographic characteristics Categories Number Percentage
Gender Male 34 28.3%
Female 86 71.7%
Teaching years 1-5 years 41 34.17%
6-10 years 14 11.67%
11-15 years 23 19.16%
16-20 years 35 29.17%
More than 20years 7 5.83%
Educational background Bachelor's degree 79 65.8%
Master's degree 39 32.5%
Doctor's degree 2 1.67%
In order to understand the current situation of high school English teachers' cognition of instructional objectives design, this article takes the advantage of the questionnaire to investigate 120 senior high school English teachers.
The questionnaire used in this study was selected from A Research on English Teachers' Objective Design for In-class Instruction in Senior High Schools by Li Beibei. According to the research questions in this thesis, the questionnaire has been changed and deleted some of the questions. The reliability value of the modified questionnaire measured by SPSS was 0.82, which indicated an acceptable questionnaire. And the
KMO value of the questionnaire was 0.74, which indicated that the reliability and validity of the questionnaire structure was acceptable.
Table 3.2 Reliability Statistics of Questionnaire
Cronbach's Alpha N of Items
Table 3.3 KMO and Bartlett' s Test of Questionnaire
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy 0.743
Bartlett's Test of
Sphericity Approx. Chi-Square 1247.093
There are two parts in this questionnaire. The first part is related to the personal information of English teachers, including gender, teaching years and educational level. The second part includes 36 questions designed for finding out senior high school English teachers' understanding of instructional objectives. And these 36 questions belongs to five different dimensions. The information is shown in Table 3.4. The options in this questionnaire are based on the Likert five-point scale.
Table 3.4 Dimensions and Questions of the Questionnaire
Understanding of instructional objectives 1-5
The attitude of instructional objectives design 6-10
Understanding of the bases of building instructional objectives 11-22
Understanding of design and implementation 23-29
Understanding of reflection and development 30-36
For the sake of studying the current situation of designing instructional objectives in senior high school, 30 teaching plans are collected from Yantai No.4 Senior High School. And 102 instructional objectives from the teaching plans were analyzed one by one based on the relevant theoretical bases, including English core competences, ABCD model and SMART principle.
In order to know the current situation of English Teachers' achievement of instructional objectives in senior high school, the author chose 20 periods among the 30 instructional cases and observed them based on the classroom observation scale, which is designed by the China Educational Association. And all the data from the observation will be calculated by its average (Appendix II).
Before the formal distribution of the questionnaire, a pilot study was conducted among 30 research participants in September of 2020 and the test results showed that the reliability and validity of the questionnaire met the research standards. After that, with the help of author's classmates, the author distributed 125 questionnaires to English teachers in five senior high schools in Yantai (Yantai No.1 Senior High School, Yantai No. 4 Senior High School, Yantai Bilingual Experimental School, Fushan No.1 Senior High School, and Yantai No. 14 Senior High School), and 125 questionnaires were collected with 120 valid ones. Then the author analyzed the collected data through EXCEL.
In October of 2020, after explaining to the participants that the instructional designs were only for research and not for other purposes, the author collected 30 instructional designs from 20 English teachers of Yantai No. 4 Senior High School, which contained 102 instructional objectives in total. Through basic analysis, it was determined that all the elements of instructional design schemes were basically complete, that is, they all contained the analysis of learning situation, teaching content, instructional objectives, important points and difficult points, teaching process, etc., which were effective instructional design schemes. Then, the author made a detailed analysis of the corresponding problems in the instructional objectives from three aspects of ABCD model, English core competencies and SMART principle.
The author came to Yantai No.4 Senior High School from October to November 2020 and conducted classroom observations in 20 selected classes. During the classroom observations, the author used the classroom observation scale (Appendix II) to record the instructional objectives, instructional activities, the implementation and achievement of the instructional objectives, and the actual classroom performance of the students. After that, the author analyzed and discussed the classroom observation scale records.
3.5Data Collection and Analysis
On the basis of pilot study, the author conducted the formal research. Firstly, in order to find out the current situation of senior high school English teachers' cognition of instructional objectives, the author distributed 125 questionnaires to English teachers in five senior high schools in Yantai (Yantai No.1 Middle School, Yantai No. 4 Middle School, Yantai Bilingual Experimental School, Fushan No.1 Middle School, and Yantai No. 14 Middle School), and 125 questionnaires were collected with 120 valid ones. The author summarized the data and input the statistics into Excel to get the average score of each dimension.
In order to identify the answer to the second research question, the author collected 102 instructional objectives in 30 teaching plans from Yantai No.4 Senior High School. And then, the author made a detailed analysis of the corresponding problems in the instructional objectives from three aspects, the description, the content and the principles of instructional objectives according to ABCD model, English core competencies and SMART principle.
In order to identify the answer to the third research question, the author went to Yantai No.4 Senior High School and observed 20 selected class. The author used a classroom observation scale to record and rated the scores the implementation of instructional objectives design during the in-field observation of 20 classrooms. Then, the author imported the observation scale data into Excel to get the average score for each question and analyzed the current situation of teachers' implementation of instructional objectives design based on the average scores.
Chapter Four Results and Discussion
In this chapter, the author will comprehensively analyze the current situation of instructional objectives design in senior high school English teaching from three aspects based on the data collected from questionnaire, content analysis and classroom observation, so as to answer the three research questions.
4.1Current Situation of English Teachers' Cognition of Instructional Objectives in Senior High School
Firstly, the author analyzes and discusses the results of the questionnaire, which consists of 36 questions and divided into five dimensions according to its content. The average score of each dimension is obtained by Excel, as shown in the Figure 4.1.
Figure 4.1 The Average Score of Five dimensions
It can be seen clearly that the average score of five dimensions are different. Among them, Dimension 5, the reflection and development of instructional objectives design, gets the highest average score (4.1), which reflects that most of the senior high school English teachers think it is necessary to reflect on instructional objectives after class, and strongly agree that senior high school English teachers should seek a variety of ways to improve their development and growth in terms of instructional objectives. But it also reflects that teachers may have doubts about instructional objectives and need help and support.The average score of dimension 1 (3.9), the understanding of instructional objectives, and dimension 2 (3.92), the attitude of instructional objectives design, are relatively high, which reflects that most of the senior high school English teachers attach importance to the instructional objectives, and have a positive attitude towards the design of the instructional objectives. The average score of the Dimension 4, design and implementation, is 3.8, which reflects that most of the senior high school English teachers have some understanding and knowledge in the design and implementation of instructional objectives, but there may be a lack of comprehensive and profound understanding. The average score of the Dimension 3, the base, is 3.7, the lowest score among five dimensions, which reflects the differences and some problems in teachers' choice of the basis of instructional design.
Next, the author will make a detailed analysis of the each dimension to answer the first research question of this thesis.
4.1.1Understanding of Instructional Objectives
Perception is the primary condition that influences teachers' teaching behavior, so a scientific design of instructional objectives should originate from a scientific understanding of instructional objectives design. The Figure 4.2 shows the current situation of senior high school English teachers' understanding of instructional objectives according to the questionnaire.
Figure 4.2 Understanding of Instructional Objectives
The five questions in Dimension 1 are to investigate senior high school English teachers' understanding of the instructional objectives. Question 1-3 reflect teachers' understanding of the connotation of instructional objectives. Among them, Question 3 has the highest average score (3.8), indicating that most of senior high school English teachers believe that instructional objectives are the learning requirements that students should meet in learning courses. Some teachers, however, mistakenly believe that instructional objectives are the aims and requirements specified in the New Curriculum Standards, or the teaching tasks that teachers should accomplish in the classroom. This shows that most senior high school English teachers have a correct understanding of the connotation of instructional objectives, but some teachers interpret instructional objectives as more superior and broader content requirements. Once the instructional objectives are mistaken for the curriculum objectives, teachers tend to design them in an empty and general way, which is not conducive to the effective implementation of teaching and learning.
The average score of Question 4 and Question 5 is higher than the first three questions, indicating that high school English teachers can better recognize the function and effect of instructional objectives design. Once the function and role of instructional objectives are recognized, teachers will be better able to design them and use them to guide their instruction.
From the above analysis, it can be found that plenty of senior high school English teachers have a good understanding of instructional objectives and admit the valuable functions of instructional objectives. While, there exists some misunderstood of the educational aims and instructional objectives.
4.1.2Attitude towards Instructional Objectives Design
Figure 4.3 reflects the attitudes of senior high school English teachers toward the instructional objectives design. The following is a specific analysis of each question.
Figure 4.3 The Attitude of Instructional Objectives
The five questions in Dimension 2 aim to investigate the attitude of senior high school English teachers towards instructional objectives. Among them, the average score of Question 6 is the highest (4.3), which indicates that most of senior high school English teachers realize the necessity of instructional objective design. And the score of Questions 8 (4) shows that most of senior high school English teachers believe that instructional objectives should be carefully designed. Question 7 has the lowest average score (3.23) in this dimension, which indicates that most of English teachers design instructional objectives in detail not only in public classes or excellent classes, but also in daily classes. The average scores of Question 9 (3.8) and Question 10 (3.77) are higher, which also reflects that most high school English teachers will design the corresponding instructional objectives for each lesson in teaching. Even if the teaching content is the same, they will modify the instructional objectives accordingly to meet the teaching needs of different classes.
From the above analysis, it can be found that most of the senior high school English teachers hold positive attitudes toward instructional objectives design and believe they should set them for each lesson with good attitude.
4.1.3Understanding of the Bases of Instructional Objectives Design
Figure 4.4 reflects the perceptions of senior high school English teachers regarding the basis for the design of instructional objectives, and the following is a specific analysis of each issue.
The average scores of Question 11 and Question 16 are the highest (4), indicating that most of the senior high school English teachers agree that instructional objectives should be designed on the basis of curriculum standards, textbooks and learning situation. At the same time, most of them also agree that the design of instructional objectives should conform to students' physical and psychological characteristics and follow the rules of language learning. Instructional objectives cannot be designed solely on the basis of personal experience or college entrance examination. Many factors should be taken into account, especially the situation of students who are teaching centers.
Question 12-14 have lower average scores, which reflects that some teachers do not read the New Curriculum Standards carefully. When formulating instructional objectives, some teachers do not refer to the language competence, cultural awareness, thinking quality and learning ability. This indicates that some teachers cannot take advantage of the New Curriculum Standards when designing instructional objectives.
The average score of Question 15 is low (3.55), which reflects that a considerable number of teachers think that the subject of instructional objectives is not students but teachers, and there is a phenomenon that the subject of behavior is confused.
Question 17-19 have higher average scores, indicating that most of the senior high school English teachers agree that they should pay more attention to students' dominant position in the design of instructional objectives. They should communicate with students to understand their expectations and needs for learning. Meanwhile numerous teachers believe that in the design of instructional objectives, they should also set different levels of instructional objectives according to the differences among students.
Question 20-22 reflects that some senior high school English teachers design their instructional objectives based on their own experience and the test sites of the college entrance examination. At the same time, the teaching designs of others can also be used as a reference when designing their own instructional objectives.
From the above analysis, it can be concluded that most of the teachers agree that the design of instructional objectives should be based on a variety of bases, including the learning situation, textbooks, curriculum standards and students, etc. However, some teachers do not have a thorough understanding of the curriculum objectives and are unable to guide instructional design well.
4.1.4Understanding of Design and Implementation of Instructional Objectives
There are seven questions (Questions 23 to Question 29) in this dimension, aiming at finding out the understanding of design and implementation of English teachers in senior high schools.
Figure 4.5 Understanding of Design and Implementation
The high average scores for Question 25 (4.05) and 29 (4) indicate that most high school English teachers agree that instructional objectives should be designed as “capable of doing something” instead of merely listing knowledge. In addition, most teachers agree that instruction can be adjusted according to the instructional objectives, that content beyond the objectives can be achieved, and that there is no need to strictly adhere to the established instructional objectives. Question 28 (3.94) reflects that most teachers believe that the design and implementation of classroom teaching activities must closely focus on instructional objectives. The scores of Question 23 and Question 24 indicated that most teachers believe that observable, actionable, and measurable verbs should be carefully selected. However, there exists some teachers who believed that the choice of behavioral verbs was not so important. The score of Question 26 is 3.63, which reflects the differences in the writing methods of instructional objectives of senior high school English teachers. Some teachers do not write instructional objectives according to the behavior subject, action verbs, behavior condition and behavior result. Question 27 has an average score of 3.63, reflecting differences between teachers' opinion on whether they should communicate instructional objectives directly to students.
In terms of the design and implementation of instructional objectives, teachers have a better understanding. Most teachers agree that teaching activities should focus on instructional objectives, but at the same time, instructional objectives can be adjusted according to specific teaching, and there is no need to rigidly apply instructional objectives. However, in the design of instructional objectives, some teachers hold that there is no need to write instructional objectives according to certain rules.
4.1.5Understanding of Reflection and Development of Instructional Objectives Design
By reflecting on instructional objectives, teachers can identify their own problems in teaching and reflect on their teaching behaviors so that they can take appropriate measures.Professional development of teachers' instructional objectives design can further improve teachers' understanding and design of instructional objectives. Dimension 5 includes seven questions designed to explore high school English teachers' understanding of reflection and development.
In Dimension 5, the average score of each question is significantly higher, which reflects that high school English teachers realize the importance of reflection on after-class instructional objectives and hope to improve their instructional objectives design ability through various ways. The average score of Question 30 reflects that most English teachers agree that reasonable instructional objectives can be the criteria for evaluating a lesson. The average score of Question 32 indicates that most of teachers agree that the design and implementation of instructional objectives should be summarized and reflected on frequently. Question 33 to Question 36 shows that most teachers agree that they should improve their instructional objectives ability through multiple channels. However, Question 31 has a low average score in this dimension, indicating that some teachers do not think it is necessary to test their instructional objectives after every class.
From above analysis, it can be seen that, most of the senior high school English teachers hold a positive attitude towards the reflection of instructional objective design and hope to improve their instructional objective design through various ways. But some of them do not think it is necessary to test their instructional objectives after every class.
4.2Current Situation of English Teachers' Design of Instructional Objectives in Senior High School
In order to study the current situation of instructional objectives design in senior high school English teaching, 102 instructional objectives in 30 teaching plans will be analyzed based on English core competences, ABCD Model and SMART principle in teaching plans in this chapter.
4.2.1Description of Instructional Objectives Based on ABCD Models
In 1962, Mager proposed the theory and technology of behavioral objectives based on behaviorist psychology and proposed that there are three elements in the statement of objective: behavior verbs, behavior conditions, and behavior criteria. Armstrong and Savage set the ABCD Model for instructional objectives. According to the ABCD Model, the instructional objective is generally composed of four elements: audience, behavior, condition and degree. Based on the ABCD Model, the author classifies 102 instructional objectives from 30 teaching designs and finds that 92 of them regard students as the behavior subject, 97 instructional objectives contain action verbs, 43 instructional objectives contain the conditions of behavior, and 23 instructional objectives contain the degree of behavior expression.
Figure 4.7 Distribution of ABCD Models in Teaching Plans
According to Figure 4.7, it can be seen that behavior has the highest proportion in the design of instructional objectives, which indicates that majority of high school English teachers can consciously take action verbs into account when designing instructional objectives. The amount of the subject of behavior ranks the second, which indicates that some teachers ignore the factor of the subject of behavior when designing the instructional objectives. However, the amount of conditions and performance degree of behavior generation is relatively low, indicating that most of the teachers ignore the conditions and performance degree of behavior generation when designing instructional objectives. Then, the author will specifically analyze the application of ABCD Model in the design of instructional objectives for high school English teachers in the following.
In terms of audience, 68 of the 102 instructional objectives are addressed to students, 24 are addressed to teachers, and 10 have no audience.
Among the 102 instructional objectives, senior high school English teachers using “students” as subjective is approximately 66.7%.
(1)After this class, students will be able to get more familiar with the key words concerning computers and modern technology such as revolution, technology, solve, simplify, etc.
(2)Students will realize the differences between Chinese education and Europen education.
(3)Students will grasp the writing characteristics of how to describe functions.
Among the 102 instructional objectives, the proportion of senior high school English teachers using “teacher” as the subjective is approximately 23.5%.
(1)Let the students express the first ride experience in their life.
(2)To help the students to learn some forms of one word, in order to introduce something about word-formation.
(3)Enable students to grasp the usages of such important expression, over time, as a result, in a way, with the help of.
(4)To cultivate students' ability to use their dictionaries or reference books to understand some difficult words and expressions in reading.
(5)To help students know how to use adverbial clause of time and the past perfect tense.
Among the 102 instructional objectives, there are 24 instructional objectives without subject, accounting for about 9.8%.
(1)Improve students' ability to use English to express themselves and communicate with others.
(2)Learn the grammar: Degrees of comparisons.
(3)Understand the cultural connotation and values carried by this discourse, and learn that money is not everything, but knowing how to care for others and being happy with them is the real happiness.
From the above data, it can be found that some senior high school English teachers use the wrong audience in their instructional objectives, which reflects their wrong ideas towards the role of teacher and student in teaching. This leads to the misplacement of the behavior subject, the ambiguity of the orientation and the lack of the students as the main body in the instructional objectives design.
Behaviors refer to actions or verbs in the design of instructional objectives that tell learners what they should be able to do after learning. From the collected data, the author found that 97 of the 102 instructional objectives contain action verbs.
Table 4.1 Action Verbs in Instructional Objectives
Verb Quantity Verb Quantity Verb Quantity
know 23 develop 8 summarize 1
learn 17 be familiar with 7 distinguish 1
use 13 write 3 revise 1
understand 10 grasp 2 describe 1
improve 8 predict 1 prepare 1
Among the 97 action verbs used in instructional objectives, the most frequently used verbs are “know”, followed by “learn”, “use”, “understand”, “improve” , “develop” and “be familiar with”. It can be found that the most frequently used action verbs belong to the category of implicit cognition, which can not make learners aware of the degree they should reach after learning. So this kind of action verbs is not very directive to teaching. The appropriate description of behavior can reflect “What ss can do”, which indicates the ability that the learners should have after having class. Therefore, teachers should try to use verbs that can reflect the change of external behaviors. According to Bloom' s taxonomy of objectives, to determine the learner' s level of knowledge, the words includes describe, identify, arrange, state, select, label, name, outline, and describe. Action verbs that express the ability include infer, classify, combine, analyze, connect, design, plan, rewrite, compare, conclude, and prove. Observable action verbs in comprehension include talk, defend, distinguish, describe, explain, expand, summarize, and conclude. Action verbs used to express competence include change, modify, predict, show and produce. Only in this way can senior high school English teachers make better use of instructional objectives to guide teaching and learning.
Condition means that the situation or circumstance that learners should in. Only 43 of the 102 instructional objectives describe the conditions under which the behavior occurred, accounting for 42.2%.
(1)Ss will be able to find the main idea of the passage by skimming.
(2)Students will improve their reading skills and acquire more information about the development of the Internet and the invention of the World Wide Web through different reading styles, such as scanning, skimming, and detailed reading.
(3)Students can conclude the method of reading by answering questions and observing the structure of the text.
From the above data and analysis, in designing of instructional objectives, the majority of senior high school English teachers ignore the condition.
Degree refers to a criterion that students should reach after learning according to the instructional objectives.There were 23 descriptions of the degree of behavioral performance in 102 instructional objectives, accounting for 22.5% of the total.
(1)Students learn to be more involved in classroom activities, such as discussions and paired work, and to be more autonomous and cooperative.
(2)To understand and master the definition, structure and usages of the present perfect tense, use them properly and correctly in different context.
Based on the ABCD model, the author analyzes the description of instructional objectives, and finds that most senior high school English teachers are able to actively and consciously consider the audience and use and action verbs when designing instructional objectives. However, there are some mistakes in the choice of behavior and the expressions of the selected action verbs are broad and inaccurate. In addition, senior high school English teachers seldom take into account the conditions of behavior and the degree of behavior performance when designing instructional objectives.
4.2.2Content Orientation of Instructional Objectives Based on English Core Competences
English classroom is the main place for students to learn knowledge and master skills. Teachers should strive to develop students' core English competences in the English classroom, which is an important step for students to improve themselves. The design of instructional objectives, as a pivotal part of classroom instructional design, guides the direction for teachers' teaching and students' learning. Hence, in the context of the new curriculum standards, it is extremely significant to integrate the development of English core competencies into the design of senior high school English instructional objectives and to develop students' key competencies and qualities in classroom teaching practices. The New Curriculum Standard points out that the core competences of English subjects includes language competence, cultural awareness, thinking quality and learning ability. The author analyzes 102 instructional objectives from these above four perspectives to explore the content orientation tendency of senior high school English teachers' instructional objectives design.
As the Figure 4.9 shows, among the 102 instructional objectives, 53.3% of them focus on the development of learners' language competence. 15.7% of instructional objectives are based on the development of cultural awareness. Among them, the objectives that cultivate students' thinking quality only accounts for 8.1% of the total. Meanwhile, 22.9% of the instructional objectives are related to the development of learning ability. According to the above analysis, it can be found that on the content orientation of instructional objectives senior high school English teachers mainly focus on cultivating students' language competence, but pay less attention to learning ability, cultural awareness and thinking quality.
4.2.3Principles of Instructional Objectives Based on SMART Principle
Based on the SMART principle, the author analyzed 102 instructional objectives in
30 teaching plans. There are 64 instructional objectives that conform to the principle of specific, 29 instructional objectives that conform to the principle of measurability, 87 instructional objectives that conform to the principle of attainability, 67 instructional objectives that conform to the principle of relevance, and there are 22 instructional objectives that are consistent with the principle of timed. The results are shown in Figure 4.10.
Figure 4.10 Distribution of Instructional Objectives Based on SMART Principle
Table 4.2 Distribution of instructional objectives based on SMART principle
specific measurable attainable relevant timed All fits
Number 64 29 87 67 22 19
Total number 102 102 102 102 102 102
Proportion 62.7% 28.4% 85.3% 65.7% 21.6% 18.6%
It can be found from the Figure 4.10 and Table 4.2 that senior high school English teachers can basically design specific, achievable and relevant instructional objectives but seldom consider the principle of measurability and the principle of timed in designing instructional objectives, which reflects that the expression of instructional objectives is difficult to observe and measure. Also the senior high school English teachers do not pay enough attention to the time control of activities in teaching design.
Specific instructional objectives depict specific behavioral outcomes for students as a result of their learning. Of the 102 instructional objectives, 64 met the principle of specificity, accounting for about 62.7% of the total instructional objectives. For instance:
(1)Help the students to learn how to describe the life of senior high school.
(2)Students can retell the article in 60 words or less based on the key words given by the teacher.
(3)Students will be able to master reading skills in the news genre and understand the different perspectives and attitudes towards the space flight in the reading materials.
Measurable instructional objectives are typically expressed using verbs that reflect external behavioral changes. Of the 102 instructional objectives, 29 met the principle of measurability, accounting for about 28.4% of the total instructional objectives. For example:
(1)Students can analyze the reasons for the problems.
(2)Students will know about text messages and emoticons and introduce the rules of shortening words by reading comprehension.
(3)To enable the students to recognize the basic differences about the intonation of Wh-questions and Yes/No questions from what they hear.
(4)To learn to identify the related information from what they hear and understand the meaning of some expressions by context.
The attainable instructional objectives can be achieved by the students of different levels after a certain effort. Of the 102 instructional objectives, 87 met the attainability principle, accounting for about 85.3% of the total instructional objectives. For example:
(1)Students are able to make a discussion about whether the congestion charge is a good solution.
(2)Students can do a class survey about the use of mobile phones in the form of group work.
(3)Students can introduce or describe a city from different aspects, such as its location, climate, and famous tourist attractions etc.
(4)Students can make a mind-map about how to describe their teachers.
Of the 102 instructional objectives, 67 met the relevant principle, accounting for about 65.7% of the total instructional objectives.
(1) Students can talk about a trip to a tourist spot.
(2) Using the adjectives and expressions learned in this module to describe teachers.
The principle of timing describes the use of time in teaching activities. Among the 102 instructional objectives, 22 of them are in accordance with the time, accounting for only 21.6% of the total.
(1) By the end of the class, the students will know how to tell stories using present simple.
(2) At the end of the class, students will gain an understanding of Western novels and films, and will broaden their knowledge and improve their literacy based on their appreciation of the works.
Based on the component analysis of SMART principle of instructional objectives, it can be found that only 19 instructional objectives were written by SMART principle, accounting 18.6% of the total. It shows that senior high school English teachers often neglect the integrity and scientificity of the design principles of instructional objectives, and the instructional objectives they design are not unified but fragmented.
The following are some instructional objectives in line with SMART principle.
(1) By reading the passage students can talk about their own opinions about different culture in different part of the world by using the words learned in this class.
(2) After reading the passage students can talk about the dangers of taking drugs.
(3)By the end of the class, students are able to talk about the future using “will” and “be going to” and know the differences between them.
4.3Current Situation of Implementation of Instructional Objectives in Senior High School English Teaching
After analyzing the instructional objectives design, in order to study the current situation of the implementation of the instructional objectives of English teachers in senior high schools, the author selects 20 lessons of senior high school English teachers to observe. The author will observe, record, analyze and discuss the 20 lessons according to the classroom observation scale (Appendix II).
4.3.1Implementation of Instructional Objectives
These four questions, Question 1 to Question 4 are relevant to the implementation of instructional objectives design.
Figure 4.11 Implementation of Instructional Objectives
From the Figure 4.11, the average score of Question 1 is 3.7, which is much higher than the other three questions, which means that during the teaching process, the teaching activities designed by senior high school teachers are generally in consistent with instructional objectives. Majority of teachers can design appropriate teaching activities for their instructional objectives. Taking an English class as an example, the teacher designed an instructional objective. “Students can share their views on Chinese festivals with others by using the words they learned this class”. To achieve this instructional objective, firstly, the teacher asked the students to stand up and have a discussion about the following topic “Which festival in China is most important for children? Young people? Old people? Male and female?”. At the same time, teacher provided some useful words and expression on the screen. For example, “I think Spring Festival is most important for children, because they can get some lucky money.” Then, the teacher allowed the students to talk about their opinion with partners and after that, the teacher invited some students to share their opinions in front of the class.
The low average score in Question 2 (2.25) indicates that many senior high school English teachers are unable to appropriately use teaching methods to achieve their instructional objectives. The reason for this phenomenon may be that teachers only pay attention to the form in the design of instructional objectives, but do not think about how to achieve the set objectives through appropriate activities. At the same time, facing the teaching pressure of college entrance examination, teachers often pursue the simple impart of knowledge content to improve the teaching efficiency. For example, on the class “No Drugs”, the teacher designed that students will learn to talk about the danger of smoking. However, during the whole class, the teacher just let the students recite the basic sentence patterns without any pair work or group discussions.
The score of Question 3 (3.2) is relatively higher. This indicates that most senior high school English teachers are able to reorganize the teaching contents according to the instructional objectives in order to enable students to master the learning contents and complete the learning tasks. Take the Class Unit 4 Fine Arts as example. There are three parts in this unit, which includes the text, the listening activity and reading passage. The content of this course is the second part, which is presented in the form of listening in the language use section of this unit. The main purpose of this course is to train students in listening, speaking and writing by using the language knowledge and reading. After the students have experienced the warm-up, pre-reading and the main reading contents, they can be guided to review and understand the new contents through listening on the basis of the original knowledge and experience, and through the problem-solving approach to urge students to train listening skills.
The lowest score of Question 4 (1.95) indicates that many senior high school teachers pay more attention to the teaching content and tasks, strictly follow the preset procedures in the teaching process, and pay less attention to the actual changes in the teaching process. In terms of the treatment of classroom-generated resources, some teachers still carry out teaching according to the preset instructional objectives and ignore the generated resources in the classroom. This finding is inconsistent with the findings on teachers' awareness of instructional objective design, indicating that teachers only recognize consciously that they should adjust their instructional objectives in the teaching process, while in action most teachers focus too much on the objectives that have been set and ignore the generative objectives.
Generally speaking, in the process of implementation, most of the senior high school English teachers can design appropriate teaching activities according to their own instructional objectives and integrate teaching contents around instructional objectives. But they often neglect effective teaching methods, which will hinder the achievement of instructional objectives. Also the teachers are more mechanical and rigid in implementing instructional objectives, focusing only on pre-determined objectives and often treating generative objectives in a negative way.
4.3.2Attainment of Instructional Objectives
Concerning the Figure 4.12, the average scores of Questions 5 and 6 are all higher than 3, which shows that senior high school English teachers can basically design teaching activities around instructional objectives, and through the classroom teaching activities to enable students to achieve the designed instructional objectives. But about the Question 5, the author found that although most of teachers can achieve the objectives of language knowledge and language skills, many teachers neglect the instructional objectives of learning attitude, learning strategy and cultural awareness. The average score of the Question 7 is 3.65, indicating that in many English classes, different students get different gains in knowledge.
Generally speaking, in terms of achieving the instructional objectives, each of the English class has generally achieved instructional objectives. Most of the students in class are able to complete the tasks assigned by the teacher and get different levels of gain.
The level of student engagement and performance in the classroom can reflect the implementation of the teacher's instructional objectives. Figure 4.3 includes six
The average score of Question 8 is 2.75, indicating that most students are silent in English class and cannot actively participate in classroom teaching activities designed by teachers. A silent atmosphere in an English classroom is strongly detrimental to teaching and learning. The atmosphere in an English classroom should be active, positive, and full of communication and cooperation. Therefore, teachers should take appropriate measures to change the silent atmosphere in the classroom. The score of Question 9 is 3.45, which indicates that most students are able to follow the teacher's instructions correctly in class.
The average score of Question 10 is 2.55, indicating that cooperation and sharing among students should be strengthened in senior high school English classes. Teachers have a weak awareness of cultivating students' cooperation, communication and sharing. Question 11 has higher averages of 3.65. It shows that most of the students can participate in the teaching activities arranged by the teachers. The average score of Question 12 is 2.4, indicating that there are few ways for students to participate in activities in senior high school English classes, and most of them are taught by the teacher. The average score of Question 13 is 3.15, indicating that the learners have enough time to participate in the activities designed by the teachers.
Generally speaking, students are able to actively participate in activities in the classroom under the guidance of the teacher, but the way of participation is single, and the communication and cooperation among students need to be strengthened.
4.3.4Reflection and Evaluation
Teachers should carry out feedback assessment of instructional objectives, and this assessment mainly focused on students, evaluating their learning status and effectiveness.
Figure 4.14 The Reflection and Evaluation of Instructional Objectives
Through classroom observation, the average score of Question 14 is 3.2, which indicates that senior high school English teachers often design standard exercises to check students' learning situation and then evaluate the implementation of instructional objectives. However, through the Question 15, with low score (2.3), it is found that senior high school English teachers lack specific evaluation methods and evaluation criteria in practice. The achievement of classroom instructional objectives is still evaluated by test scores.
Chapter Five Conclusion
This chapter concludes this dissertation and includes research findings, pedagogical recommendations, limitations, and suggestions for future research.
Through questionnaire, content analysis and classroom observation, this thesis have found the current situation of instructional objectives design in senior high school English teaching. The following findings are found.
In terms of the understanding of instructional objectives, most of the English teachers have a correct understanding of the connotation of instructional objectives and realize the importance of instructional objectives design and reflection of it. Also, most of English teachers hold some understanding on the bases of instructional objectives design and they tent to improve their ability of instructional objectives design through various ways. But some teachers confuse the concept of instructional objectives with other conceptions. At the same time, through the comparison with the results of classroom observation and questionnaire, there is a mismatch between the cognition and behavior of senior high school English teachers in terms of instructional objectives.
About the instructional objectives design, most of the English teachers are able to design instructional objectives according to certain principles. However, there exists several problems, such as improper selection of the behavior subject, broad and blurry action verbs, and failure to consider the conditions and extent of behavior. Also, most of the English teachers are too inclined to cultivate language skills when designing instructional objectives, and they do not pay enough attention to the cultivation of cultural awareness, learning ability, and thinking quality. What's more, instructional objectives designed by senior high school English teachers do not conform to the principles of measurability and time-limitation.
In the implementation of instructional objectives design, most senior high school English teachers can choose appropriate teaching activities and teaching content according to the instructional objectives. Most of the instructional objectives can be basically achieved at the end of the class. However, some teachers choose improper teaching methods in the implementation process. Students are able to consciously participate in classroom activities, but they are not very motivated and cannot cooperate, communicate and share well. Also the teachers are more mechanical and rigid in implementing instructional objectives, focusing only on pre-determined objectives. Last but not least, most of the teachers lack specific evaluation standards in the evaluation of instructional objectives after class.
Through the analysis and discussion of the current situation of instructional objectives design in senior high school, combined with experts' suggestions and related theories of instructional objectives design, the author hopes to provide some suggestions for senior high school English teachers on the instructional objectives design.
The following are suggestions for perceived aspects of instructional objectives design for senior high school English teachers.
(1)Raising teachers' awareness of instructional objectives design. Teachers should not only be aware of the importance of instructional objectives, but also be aware of the role of instructional objectives in the entire pedagogical design process. Teachers should connect instructional objectives with the whole instructional design and understand that the quality of instructional objectives design directly affects the effective achievement of the whole instructional design and implementation. When teachers treat instructional objectives as an important part of instructional design, they will surely design good instructional objectives through various efforts.
(2)Senior high school English teachers ought to have active study of the theories
related to the design of instructional objectives. Teachers should have a distinct understanding and knowledge of the theories related to the basis, principles, and expressions of instructional objectives design. In this way, they can apply the theories into practice and guide themselves in the design of instructional objectives.
(3)Schools and Department of education should provide teachers with a platform for professional development, conduct more teaching and research activities on relevant content, and strengthen the role of the school in reviewing teachers' teaching design. External support can promote teachers' awareness of instructional objectives.
The following are suggestions for designing instructional objectives for senior high school English teachers. In response to the problems identified in the thesis, teachers are expected to implement the following measures in the design of instructional objectives.
(1)When designing instructional objectives, teachers should take the initiative to make students the main subjects of instructional objectives. This reflects the concept of “learner-centered” , which not only enables teachers to form a good relationship with students, but also enables teachers to realizes the change from “teaching” to “learning”, so as to improve the quality of students' learning and make them gain comprehensive improvement in knowledge, ability and quality.
(2)When designing instructional objectives, teachers should not focus only on the development of language knowledge skills. Attention should also be paid to the development of cultural awareness, thinking quality and learning ability. These are also the four core competencies proposed in the New Curriculum Standards.
(3)When designing instructional objectives, teachers are sure to identify the positioning, the components and the basis of them. Only by basing the design of instructional objectives on the standards (the four core competencies specified in the curriculum standards), students' needs analysis (through the analysis of students' learning conditions, understanding students' current needs and paying attention to students' nearest development area) and “English textbook analysis” (the refinement of textbook contents, through deletion, replacement and adaptation to fit students' needs) can the rationality and scientificity of English instructional objectives be improved.
Only on the basis of rational and scientific English instructional objectives can teachers guide the role of objectives and improve the effectiveness of English classroom teaching.
(4)Using measurable action verbs and time-limitation. Senior high school English teachers should use actionable and measurable behavioral verbs in designing instructional objectives so that learners' learning outcomes can be monitored. It is extremely difficult to observe and test learners' learning if teachers often use cognitive verbs such as “ know”, “ use ”, and “ understand” in designing instructional objectives. Therefore, teachers should try to use verbs that reflect external behavioral changes, and these verbs should be measurable,specific, and clear in the formulation of instructional objectives, such as identify, list, describe, predict, combine, etc. The implementation of the instructional objectives requires a time limit. In order to improve the efficiency of the English classroom, teachers must schedule not only the teaching process and the time spent, but also the time to achieve the designed instructional objectives.
(5)Catering to individual differences and meeting the demands of different students. The design of instructional objectives should reflect the principle of differentiation. In other words, it should not only focus on the basic objectives for students' common development, but also design graded objectives to adapt to the differences of students according to their level of competence. Teachers should strive for each student to gain and develop in the classroom.
Suggestions on the implementation of instructional objectives design for senior high school English teachers
(1) Teachers should carry out feedback assessment of instructional objectives, and this assessment mainly focused on students, evaluating their learning status and effectiveness. Common evaluation methods include paper and pencil tests, which include classroom exercises and post-class tests, as well as file bag evaluation and performance evaluation methods, among which performance evaluation includes classroom questions, classroom observations, learning reports and open-ended assignments. The design of teaching evaluation is based on the instructional objectives, and the evaluation methods are chosen reasonably with the content, the type of instructional objectives and the actual situation of students.
(2) Methods in teaching are available, unlimited and worth selecting. There is no supremacy between teaching methods, and teachers should make reasonable choices according to the specific situation of instructional objectives design. In practice, teachers can use one or two teaching methods as the main method, and supplement with others. For example, when developing students' speaking skills, teachers can use the contextual communication method and the Total Physical Response method; in reading class, they can employ the task-based language teaching method, etc.
5.3Limitations of the Research
Based on the theories and researches about instructional objectives at home and abroad, this thesis researched the design and implementation of instructional objectives for senior high school English teachers through questionnaire, teaching cases analysis and classroom observation. Through this study, the author produced certain results and made some recommendations. Yet, there are still some flaws in this thesis.
Firstly, The sample size of this research is relatively small, only 120 senior high school English teachers in Yantai, 102 instructional objectives in 30 teaching plans and 20 classroom observations, which leads to the unrepresentative of the results. Secondly, When analyzing the design of instructional objectives, the researcher did not take the influence of teachers' teaching age, education background, major, teaching level and other factors on the design of instructional objectives into account, which may lead to the lack of depth in this research.
5.4Suggestions for Further Research
Based on the findings and shortcomings of this thesis, the researcher will provide some recommendations for subsequent related studies.
Firstly, subsequent researchers could increase the sample size of the study and also include senior high school English teachers from regions of different levels of development as subjects to make the data more representative.
Secondly, this thesis is a study on the overall status of instructional objectives design in senior high school English teaching, and what is obtained is a rather broad finding. Subsequent researchers can conduct a more detailed study on the instructional objectives design of a particular class type, such as how the current status of instructional objectives design in senior high school English writing class, grammar class, and reading class.
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