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Behavioral Performance-Based Objectives

  • By: Janet Penner-Williams
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Behavioral performance-based objectives in curriculum refer to lesson objectives for students set by the teacher that are precise and observable, for example, “The student will demonstrate the ability to add integers where regrouping is needed.” Behavioral performance-based objectives have become increasingly important in the field of curriculum studies as teachers work with their students to demonstrate mastery of objectives in high-stakes testing. This type of objective became popular in the 1970s when behavioral science was at its peak and when B. F. Skinner, a prominent behavioral scientist, claimed that all human learning was a result of stimulus-response. Skinner believed that by observing the response we would observe learning. Objectives such as “The student will understand the meaning of place value” were pushed aside to make ...

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