5.1 Differentiated goals

After reading the section Planning lessons of the TESSA key resource ‘Planning and preparing your lessons [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ’, you have noticed the importance of objectives that:

  • reflect what the teacher intends the pupils to learn, at this and different levels
  • encompass different elements (understanding, knowledge, competency, skills)
  • can be measured through the learning outcomes.

The relationship between objectives and outcomes is illustrated in this table:

The objectives express that at the end of the lesson, the teacher expects the pupils to …Examples: At the end of the lesson, pupils willLearning outcomes: How to evaluate whether the objectives have been achieved?

understand (Understanding)


demonstrate how and why meandering rivers are formed.How will the understanding of meanders be measured?

know (Knowledge)


be able to draw and name the parts of a flower.How to evaluate what children know about plants?
do (Skill/Know-how)have made a clay pot.Are the pots ready?

It is important to add another two characteristics of learning objectives.

  • a.The objectives have to be achievable by all the pupils at different levels. In fact, if the objectives are not achieved, the pupils will be failing, and therefore feel frustrated because they cannot meet the expectations. This may demotivate them and they turn them off school.

  • b.The learning objectives (and the learning outcomes) must be differentiated in such a way so as to take into consideration and value all pupils’ talents and needs. One way of differentiating the objectives is by defining what:

    • all pupils will understand/know/be able to do
    • most pupils will understand/know/be able to do
    • a few pupils will understand/know/be able to do.

    For example

    • All the pupils will have made a pot.
    • Most of the pupils will do a pot with straight and waterproof sides.
    • Some pupils could do a pot with straight and waterproof sides, with decorations and a handle.

5. Planning and preparing lessons to include all pupils

5.2 Learning through small steps