The expected or significant learning are those achievements that students are expected to achieve when studying a subject as a result of the work carried out both inside and outside the classroom. They are one of the most important parts of the education system since they serve to determine if the teaching is being effective or not.
The expected learning can be of a different nature: they can include theoretical knowledge, skills, abilities or ways of thinking. In addition, they usually exist within a scale, in such a way that they can be reached partially or totally depending on the quality of the student’s learning.
In addition to planning the contents of education, the expected learning serves to adjust the teaching to the individual needs of each student.
On the other hand, they also serve as a template to design systems for evaluating the knowledge acquired by students.
What does it consist on?
The expected learning is a series of objectives that students are supposed to achieve by following a specific educational program.
As such, they must be expressed in a concrete, simple and easy to understand way, so that they can be used to verify the knowledge acquired throughout the course.
In general, they are directly related to one of the three types of learning that can be carried out in an educational process: knowing, knowing how to do and knowing how to be. Next, we will see what each of these consists of.
This type of learning has to do with those acquired knowledge related to concepts, theories or ideas.
They are characteristic of subjects and subjects without a strong practical component, although they are present in almost all existing educational processes.
Significant learning of this type is usually measured by an objective test that evaluates how many of the minimum knowledge set by the Ministry of Education has been acquired by the students. This test usually takes the form of a written or oral exam.
Know to do
This type of learning is the counterpart of the first, and has to do with the knowledge that allows students to apply what they have learned in a practical way.
It is not present in all subjects, although in recent times there has been an attempt to implement the practice in more areas of knowledge.
To measure meaningful “know-how” learning, students often have to do practical work. In the case of subjects such as mathematics, it is common that they must solve a series of problems that demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary skills.
Knowing how to be
The last type of learning is also the least known and worked. It has to do with all those values, attitudes and ways of being that should be acquired as a result of the teaching process.
Significant learnings of this type are not as easy to measure as those of the other two types, but their evaluation would have to do with the way students behave in the classroom and with their environment.
What are they for?
The expected learning is one of the fundamental components of the entire educational process. If they are well constructed, they serve different functions that facilitate the education of the students and the role of the teachers.
They serve as a guide
The first function that meaningful learning accomplishes is to show the teacher what knowledge his students must acquire in order to consider that the educational process has been effective.
In this way, they become a kind of map that helps teachers to decide which aspects need to be worked in a deeper way and, on the contrary, which ones are not necessary and can be studied without having to spend too much time.
They show the order of acquisition of knowledge
The expected learning of each subject does not only serve to help separate the important from the non-important; They can also be helpful when choosing when to work on every aspect of the system.
In a well-constructed education process, each of the knowledge worked on is based on all the previous ones.
The expected learning should reflect this reality, in such a way that they help the teacher to select the most appropriate order for a greater knowledge acquisition to take place.
Help to select the best strategies
When a teacher knows the expected learning that must be achieved by their students, it will be much easier to choose how to propose their classes so that they learn as much as possible.
Thus, they become a very useful tool to make the educational process more efficient and effective.
They can be used as evaluation criteria
Finally, the expected learning also serves as a guide when evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching program. The more expected learning has been achieved by the students, the better it is considered to be the educational process.
Therefore, meaningful learning can be used to build all kinds of tests and tests that measure the level of knowledge of students.
The following will describe some of the expected learning considered for the sixth grade of elementary school in the subjects of language and literature and mathematics.
It is not all those described by the Ministry of Education, but only a sample that serves as an example.
Language and literature
At the end of the sixth course, the student should be able to:
– Use an appropriate language according to the type of audience.
– Use notes and diagrams to plan the writing of a text.
– Identify the characteristics of different types of texts, among these the reports, the stories and the news.
– Gather information from different sources to be able to explain a topic consistently.
– Use literary resources to write different types of texts, such as poems, stories or letters.
At the end of the sixth course, the student will have to be able to:
– Handle with ease different types of numbers, such as natural, integers or decimals, being able to solve problems with these.
– Calculate areas and volumes of simple geometric figures, such as rectangles, pyramids or cubes.
– Calculate percentages by different methods.
– Find the least common multiple and maximum common divisor of two or more numbers.