Whatever Happened to Behavioral Objectives? (Second Time Around)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

With much interest on the part of school reformers, district administrators, and boards of education in “competency-based learning” or “outcome-based education” (also Common Core curriculum standards), wannabe reformers and school people should consider that these “innovations” depend heavily upon the introduction of behavioral objects a century ago.

The links between the past and present are ever-present, especially when it comes to behavioral objectives. I published this post nearly three years ago and in that time, both “competency-based learning” and Common Core standards–using behavioral objectives–have emerged as popular reforms of schooling both in urban and suburban district schools including charters.

At the ned of this post, I include comments from Laura Chapman, a veteran teacher, on the original post.

Whateverhappened to behavioral objectives? Not much. They are still around but often go by an alias.

Introduced in the early 20th century, behavioral objectives are like wallpaper in a favorite room that…

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