Stating Objectives in Instruction and Behavior

Displaying objectives before, during, and after the lesson is one of the best practices for teaching. When students go into a lesson, no matter what grade level, they need and even want to know what is in store for them and what they are expected to learn. I use this in my behavioral program where I teach. Though I teach all subjects on an individual basis, the objectives of my behavior expectations are clearly stated. These behavior objectives are aligned with social-emotional goals that are in the student’s individual education plan. Gronlund (1970) compares the learning objectives of instruction with instructional outcomes. This process can also be applied to behavior outcomes. The objectives are aligned with the behavior that is to be changed, and when the behavior changes over time, the objective can be changed to work on another behavior or a behavior that is manipulated within the original behavior.

I also believe that having academic objectives along with behavior objectives will strengthen academic performance. Alloyn and Roberts (1974) have shown that when more academic skills are focused on behavior problem males, their behavior decreases, and the academic performance increases. In my experience, the big obstacle is meeting the behavior objectives so that educational objectives can be focused on. For some children it takes intense treatment and even long term residential treatment to fix some of the behavior issues. I have a strong belief that until behavior is controlled, education has to take a back seat, but then again each student is different and each find their own potential through different strategies.


Alloyn, T., & Roberts, M. (1974). Eliminating discipline problems by strengthening academic performance. The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 7(1). Retrieved on September 12, 2009 from

Gronlund, N. (1970). Stating Behavioral Objectives for Classroom Instruction. Macmillan Publishing. Retrieved on September 12, 2009 from ERIC database.


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