Learning within a school environment is typically goal directed. Students are at school because they want to learn certain things, attain specific standards and perhaps satisfy the requirements for a particular diploma or award. The majority of students are not there, as described mischievously by Postman and Weingartner (1987), to serve out a sentence! Teachers, too, are not serving ‘time’ in schools but are wanting their students to achieve particular goals or ends. Objectives provide an answer to what it is that students want to learn and

what it is that teachers are trying to teach them. There are many other terms that are used as synonyms, such as ‘outcomes’, ‘goals’, ‘aims’, ‘purpose’, ‘intentions’. Some authors, such as Moore (2001) and Glatthorn and Jailall (2000), make distinctions between some of these terms, but, based upon widespread use and application, the major terms are undoubtedly ‘objectives’, ‘outcomes’ and ‘standards’.