Concept of Aims and Objectives of Education


Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Sociology, Philosophy) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph. D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee,

Education is a purposeful and ethical activity and each activity as aspect has some aim before it. So, there is a close relationship between an activity and its aim.

An aim is a conscious purpose which we set before us, while   launching upon any activity. Just like that education is also unthinkable without aims. If there are no aims the educational process would not take place because an aim is a pre-determined goal which inspires the activity of education.

Aims act as basic directions while conducting a research or carrying out a project. It can be chunked into various objectives which help in reaching the aim easily. It has a long range perspective which reflects aspirations and ambition of the entity.

In the words of John Dewey “An aim is a foreseen end that gives direction to an activity or motivates behavior”.

Importance of Educational Aims

All our methods of teaching, our curriculum and our system of evaluation are shaped and molded according to our aim of education. It is the ignorance of right aims that has vitiated our educational system, its methods and its products, and has successfully resulted in the physical, intellectual and moral weaknesses of the race. There is a great necessity of aims in education because of the following reasons:

1.To direct efforts: Educational aims keep the teacher and the taught on the right track. They provide a line of action and guidance to the teachers. They give direction and zest to the work of the pupils. Educational aims help us to avoid wastage in time and energy.

2.To evaluate ourselves : The aim is a yard-stick with which we can measure our success and failure. They are necessary to assess the outcome of the educational process.

3.  To provide efficient  administration : Aims are necessary for efficient school administration and organization. They help the school authorities in organizing, equipping, and administering the school.

Factors determining Educational Aims

Many factors have been contributing and do contribute to the determining of educational aims. These factors touch every phase of human life that was, that is or what will be.

1.Factors associated with  Philosophy of life : Aims of education are always  influenced by the philosophy of life of the people of that country.

2. Factors associated with   Psychology : The aims of education should be according to the nature, needs, requirements, inspiration and interest of the learners.. The aims of education should relate knowledge with the activities of life.

3. Factors associated with  Socio-economic problem : Besides, political ideologies, the social economic problems of a country, determine the aims of education

4. Factors associated with  Political ideology : Political ideologies also help in determining the aims of education. The aims of education are fixed in accordance with the ideology of the state to uphold the right of state.

5. Factors associated with   exploration of knowledge : Education has also to give due consideration to the advancements in knowledge as for as the question of educational aims are concerned.

6. Factors associated with  Culture : It is the most important function of the education to develop and preserve the cultural heritage. The changing and developing pattern of cultural factors directly influence the aims of education.

Difference between Aim and Objective

The word aim is often misconstrued with objective, as they talk about what an individual or entity may want to achieve.

The following points are important, so far as the difference between aim and objective is concerned:

  • The term aim is described as the ultimate goal, which an individual or the entity strive to achieve. The objective is something a person/entity seeks to achieve, by continuously chasing it.
  • The aim of the entity reflects its long-term outcomes while its objectives indicate the short term targets of the entity. Aims are long term statement of purpose that may be achieved over a long period of time, say one or more years. Objectives are bound in a short and specified time say one teaching learning period or during teaching learning of one chapter.
  • Philosophy provides base to aims, while psychology provides base to objectives.
  • Aims are broader in sense. You may need to state a number of objectives to achieve one aim. In this sense objectives are narrower.
  • Aims relates with general direction or intent of an individual/ institution. Objectives are specific goal of an individual or institution.
  • Aim is a foreseen end. Objectives are influenced by aims The aim is related to the  mission and purpose whereas objectives are concerned with the achievements .
  • Aim answers the question, what is to be achieved? Unlike objective which answers, How it is to be achieved?
  • Aims are not time bound, i.e. there is no time frame within which the aim of the entity must be achieved as it is hard to say accurately, how much time it will take to achieve. On the other hand, objectives are always accompanied with a time frame, within which it must be achieved.
  • The most important difference between these two is on measurability. Aims may or may not be easily observable and measurable.


Bloom’  Benjamin’s  has  put  forward  a  taxonomy  of  educational objectives,  which  provides  a  practical  framework  within  which educational  objectives  could  be  organized  and  measured.  In his taxonomy Bloom  divided educational objectives into three domains.  These  are:

  1. Cognitive Domain  (Head oriented )
  2. Affective Domain ( Heart oriented )
  3. Psycho-motor Domain ( Hand oriented )

The Cognitive Domain

The  cognitive domain  involves  those  objectives  that  deal  with  the development of intellectual abilities and skills. These have to do with the mental abilities of the brain


Learning outcome in Cognitive Domain

The domain is categorized into six hierarchical levels , comprehension,  application,  analysis,  synthesis  and evaluation. These levels are of  hierarchical and increasing operational difficulties  that  achievement  of  a  higher  level  of  skill  assumes  the achievement of the previous levels. This implies that a higher level of skill could be achieved only if a certain amount of ability called for by the previous level has been achieved.


Knowledge Level

Knowledge or memory is the first, the lowest and the foundation for the development of higher order cognitive skills. It involves the recognition or  recall  of  previous  learned  information.   For  measurement purposes,  memory  or  knowledge  involves  bringing  to  mind  the appropriate material. This cognitive level emphasizes the psychological process of remembering. Knowledge is remembering or retrieving previously learned material.

Knowledge can also be classified into the following:-

i. Specifics (taxonomy, facts, definitions etc.)

ii. Ways and means of dealing with specifics (rules)

iii. Conventions (styles, symbols practices, allegories)

iv. Trends and sequences (order or sequence)

v. Classification and categories (classes, sets, divisions)

vi. Criteria (established facts and criteria)

vii. Techniques and procedures or Methodology.

viii. Universals and abstractions.

ix. Knowledge of principles and generalizations (laws, formulas)

x Knowledge of theories and structures (models, philosophies)

Comprehension Level

Comprehension is the ability to grasp or construct meaning from material. Comprehension is all about internalization of knowledge. It involvers making memory out of what is stored in the brain file. It is on this basis that what is stored inthe brain can be understood and translated, interpreted or extrapolated. It is only when you have known something that you can understand it.

Comprehension level is made up of the following:

i. Translation: which  involves  the  ability  to  understand  literal messages across communication forms, changing what is known from one form of communication to another e.g. from words to numbers,  graphs,  maps,  charts,  cartoons,  pictures,  formulas, symbols,  models, equations etc.

ii. Interpretation: which  goes  beyond  mere  literal  translation  to identification of inter-relationships among parts and components of communication and interpreting and relating these to the main components e.g. to interpret a chart or graph etc.

iii. Extrapolation: which involves the ability to draw implications and ability  to  identify  and continue  a  trend,  isolate  or  detect consequences, suggest possible meaning and estimate possible effect.

Application Level

As per the hierarchic nature of the instructional objectives  it is not possible to understand unless it is known..  It  also  means  that  one  cannot  apply  what  he/she  do  not understand.  The  use  of abstractions  in a  concrete  situation is  called application. These abstractions can be in the form of general ideas, rules, or procedures or generalized methods, technical terms, principles, ideas and theories which must be remembered, understood and applied. Understanding before correct application is an essentiality.

In application the learner uses what he knows to solve a new problem, or in a new situation. Application involves the ability to the learner to grasp exactly what the problem is all about and what generalization or principles are relevant, useful, or pertinent for its solution.  Application is the ability to use learned material, or to implement material in new and concrete situations.

Analysis Level

  • It is the breaking down of communication into its constituent parts or elements
  • It establish the relationship  between ideas expressed to be clear or explicit.
  • It is the ability to break down or distinguish the parts of material into its components.
  • Its organizational structure may be better understood.

The components here include:

i. Analysis  of Elements: which is  concerned with the  ability  to identify the underlying elements such as assumptions, hypothesis, conclusions,  views,  values,  arguments,  statements  etc  and  to determine the nature and functions of such elements?

ii. Analysis of Relationship: which involves trying to determine how the elements identified are related to each other? For instance, how does the evidence relate to the conclusion?

iii. Analysis  of  Organizational  principles: which  involves determining the principles or system of organization which holds the different elements and parts together? It involves finding the pattern, the structure, systematic arrangements, point of view, etc.

Synthesis Level

  • Contrary to analysis which involves breaking down of materials, communication, object etc,
  • In synthesis  building up or putting together elements is processed.
  • It is  concerned with the  ability  to put parts  of knowledge together to form a new knowledge.
  • In it parts, pieces and components in order to form a unique whole or to constitute a new form, plan, pattern or structure.
  • It  involves divergent  thinking.  It calls  for  imaginative,  original  and  creative thinking.
  • It calls for creative answers to problems and for the development of questioning mind, spirit of inquiry or inquisitive mind. It requires fluency of novel ideas and flexible mind.


Evaluation Level

  • It is  the  top most level in the  hierarchy.
  • Evaluation as a cognitive objective involves the learners’  ability  to  organize  his  thought  and  knowledge
  • It helps in  reaching  a logical and rational decision which is defendable.
  • It involves making a quantitative or qualitative judgment about a piece of communication, a procedure, a method, a proposal, a plan etc.
  • It is the ability to judge, check, and even critique the value of material for a given purpose.


Evaluation  is  the  most  complex  of  human  cognitive  behaviour.  It embodies  elements  of  the  other  five  categories.  (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and synthesis)


Action Verbs in Cognitive Domain

Knowledge Know, identify, relate, list, define, recall, memorize,  repeat, record, name, recognize, acquire



Understanding Restate, locate, report, recognize, explain, express, identify, discuss, describe, review, Infer, conclude, illustrate, interpret, draw, represent, and differentiate


Application Apply, relate, develop, translate, use, operate, organize, employ, restructure, interpret, demonstrate, illustrate, practice, calculate, show, exhibit,  dramatize
Analysis Analyze, categorize,  compare, , differentiate,    deduce, detect, discover, discriminate, dissect, examine, experiment, inquire, inspect, investigate, probe, scrutinize, Separate, survey


Synthesis Compose, produce, design,  assemble, create, prepare,  predict, modify, tell, plan,

Invent,  formulate,  collect, set up, generalize, , combine, relate, Propose,  develop,  arrange,  construct,  organize, originate, derive, write, propose

Evaluation Judge, assess, compare, evaluate, conclude,  measure, deduce, argue, decide,

Choose, rate, select, estimate, validate, consider, appraise,  value, criticize



Revised B.S.Bloom Taxonomy of Instructional Objectives

Anderson and Krathwohl  in the year 1995-2000 revised the taxonomy of instructional objectives previously propounded by Bloom. Anderson and Krathwohl’S Taxonomy

In 1956, Benjamin S. Bloom classified domains of human learning into three parts — cognitive (knowing; related to head), affective (feeling; related to heart), and psychomotor (doing; related to hand) as the educational objectives. Bloom’s taxonomy is a model of classification of thinking into multilevels in increasing order of complexities. As a result of this classification, a series of taxonomies was obtained in each domain that provided a means of expressing qualitatively different levels of thinking of learners.

In the following table are the two primary existing taxonomies of cognition. The one on the left, entitled Bloom’s, is based on the original work of Benjamin Bloom and others as they attempted in 1956 to define the functions of thought, coming to know, or cognition. This taxonomy is over 50 years old.

Table – Bloom vs. Anderson/Krathwohl.  Visual comparison of the two taxonomies




One of the things that clearly differentiates the new model from that of the 1956 original is that it lays out components nicely so they can be considered and used, and so cognitive processes as related to chosen instructional tasks can be easily documented and tracked. This feature has the potential to make teacher assessment, teacher self-assessment, and student assessment easier or clearer as usage patterns emerge.

The primary differences are not just in the listings or rewordings from nouns to verbs, or in the renaming of some of the components, or even in the repositioning of the last two categories. The major differences in the updated version is in the more useful and comprehensive additions of how the taxonomy intersects and acts upon different types and levels of knowledge — factual, conceptual, procedural and meta-cognitive.


Affective  Domain (feelings, emotions and behaviour, ie., attitude, or ’feel’)

Previously the educationists never encourage emotionalism  in education. They believe that intellectualism had  nothing to do with the learner’s interests, emotions or impulses. Today, they have acknowledge that the learner’s feelings and emotions are equally  important  in  education.  In the year 1975 Tanner and Tanner  insist that the primary goals of learning are affective. They are of the opinion that learners should not learn what is selected for them by others. This is because it amounts to imposition on the learners of other peoples values and purposes.

Krathwohl’s affective domain taxonomy is perhaps the best known of any of the affective taxonomies. “The taxonomy is ordered according to the principle of internalization. Internalization refers to the process whereby a person’s affect toward an object passes from a general awareness level to a point where the affect is ‘internalized’ and consistently guides or controls the person’s behavior .

The  function  of  the  affective  domain  in  the  instructional situation pertains to emotions, the passions, the dispositions, the moral and  the  aesthetic  sensibilities,  the  capacity  for  feeling,  concern, attachment or detachment, sympathy, empathy, and appreciation.

Affective domain is generally covert in behaviour. The educational objectives here vary from simple  attention  to  complex  and  internally  consistent  qualities  of character and conscience.




Affective domain has five hierarchical categories. You remember that the cognitive domain has six hierarchical levels. Specifically, the levels in affective domain fall into these levels:



This is the lowest level of the learning outcomes in the affective domain. It means attending. It is the learner’s willingness to attend to a particular stimulus or his being sensitive to the existence of a given problem, event, condition or situation. The learner is sensitized to the existence of certain  phenomena; that is, that she/he be willing to receive or to attend to them.

Receiving has three sub-levels. These are:



Controlled  or  selected  attention:


Awareness: which  involves  the  conscious  recognition  of  the existence  of  some  problems,  conditions,  situations,  events, phenomena etc. take for instance as a teacher, you come into your class while the students are making noise. You will notice that the atmosphere will change. This is because the students have become aware of your presence. They are merely aware.

ii. Willingness: This is the next stage which involves the ability to acknowledge the object, event, problem instead of ignoring or avoiding it. The students in your class kept quite because they noticed and acknowledged your presence. If they had ignored your presence they would continue to make noise in the class.

iii. Controlled  or  selected  attention: This  involves  the  learner selecting or choosing to pay attention to the situation, problem, event or phenomenon. When you teach in the class, the learner is aware of your saying or the points you are making. In that case hewill  deliberately  shut  off  messages  or  speeches  or  sounds  asnoises.  Receiving  in  a  classroom  situation  involves  getting, holding and directing the attention of the learners to whatever the teacher has to say in the class.


Here the learner responds to the event by participating. . Attends and  reacts to a particular phenomenon. He does not only attend, he also reacts by doing something. Active participation on the part of the learners.

Learning outcomes may emphasize:

  • Compliance in responding,
  • Willingness to respond,
  • Satisfaction in responding  (motivation).

Responding has three sub-levels too. These are:

  • Acquiescence in responding: which involves simple obedience orcompliance.
  • Willingness to respond: This involves voluntary responses to a given situation.
  • Satisfaction in response: if he is satisfied with the response he enjoys reacting to the type of situation.


Valuing is related with the worth or value or benefit which a leaner attaches to a particular object, phenomenon ,behaviour or situation. This ranges from simple acceptance to the more  complex state of commitment  This ranges in degree from mere acceptance of value or a desire to improve group skills to a more complex level of commitment or an assumption of responsibility for the effective functioning of the group.

There are three sub-levels of valuing:



Acceptance  of  a  value
Preference for a value
Commitment to a value



i. Acceptance  of  a  value: This  is  a  situation  where  the  learner believes  tentatively  in  a  proportion,  doctrine,  condition  or situation.

ii. Preference for a value: In this case the learner believes in the desirability or necessity of the condition, doctrine, proposition etc.  and  ignores  or  rejects  other  alternatives  and  deliberately  looks for other people views where the issues are controversial, so as to form his own opinion.

iii. Commitment to a value: In this stage the learner is convinced and fully  committed  to  the  doctrine,  principle  or  cause.  In consequence,  the  learner  internalizes  a  set  of  specific  values, which consistently manifest themselves in his event behaviour, attitudes and appreciation.


Here the learner starts to bring together different values as an organized system. He determines the interrelationships and establishes the order of priority by comparing, relating and synthesizing the values. He  then builds  a  consistent value  system by resolving any  possible conflicts between them. He has to organize the values into a system in order to decide which value to emphasis .Organizes values into priorities by contrasting different  values and, resolving conflicts between them, and creating an unique value system.  The emphasis is on comparing, relating, and synthesizing values.

There are two sub-levels of organization . These are:

i. Conceptualization of a Value

This involves the understanding of the relationship of abstract elements of a value to these already held or to new values which are gaining acceptance.

ii. Organization of Value System?

This  involves  the  development  of  a  complex  value  system,  which includes  those  values  that  cannot  be  compared  for  the  purpose  of making choices in order to promote public welfare, instead of the sheer aggrandizement of special personal interest.Recognizes the need for balance between freedom and responsible behavior.

Characterization by a Value or a Value Complex

Here the person acts  consistently in accordance with such values, beliefs or ideals that comprise his total philosophy or view of life. The behavior is pervasive, consistent, predictable, and  most importantly, characteristic of the learner. Instructional objectives are  concerned with the student’s general patterns of adjustment  in personal, social,  emotional domain.

There are two levels Value Complex of :

i. Generalized set: This involves a situation where the orientation of the  individual  enables  him  to  reduce  to  order  a  complex environment and to act consistently and effectively in it. There may be room for the individual to revise his judgements and to change  his  behaviour  as  a  result  of  available  new  and  valid evidence.

ii. Characterization: In  this  case,  the  internalization  of  a  value system  is  such  that  the  individual  is  consistently  acting  in harmony with it. The value system regulates the individual’s personal and civil life according to a code of behaviour based on ethical principles.

Psychomotor domain (manual and physical skills, ie., skills, or ’do’)

Psychomotor objectives are those specific to discreet physical functions, reflex actions and interpretive movements. Traditionally, these types of objectives are concerned with the physically encoding of information, with movement and/or with activities where the gross and fine muscles are used for expressing or interpreting information or concepts. This area also refers to natural, autonomic responses or reflexes.

It means  that the  instructional  objectives make  performance  skills  more prominent. The psychomotor domain has to do with muscular activities.





The psychomotor domain includes physical and motor (or muscular) skills. Every act has a psychomotor component. In the learning situation there is again a progression from mere physical experience – seeing, touching, moving etc. – through the carrying out of complex skills under guidance, to the performance of skilled activities independently.

Psychomotor domain is sub divided into hierarchical levels. The six levels from simplest to most complex are:

(i)Reflex  movements

(ii)  Basic  Fundamental movements

(iii) Perceptual abilities

(iv) Physical abilities

(v) Skilled movements and

(vi) Non-discursive communication

Reflex Movements:

At the lowest level of the psychomotor domain is the reflex movements which  every  normal  human  being  should  be  able  to  make.

Reflex movements are defined as involuntary motor responses to stimuli. They form the basis for all behaviour involving movement of any kind.

Objectives at this level include reflexes that involve one segmental or reflexes of the spine and movements that may involve more than one segmented portion of the spine as inter-segmental reflexes (e.g., involuntary muscle contraction). These movements are involuntary being either present at birth or emerging through maturation.

Basic Fundamental Movements:

Objectives in this area refer to skills or movements or behaviors related to walking, running, jumping, pushing, pulling and manipulating. They are often components for more complex actions.

Basic fundamental movements are defined as those inherent body movement patterns, which build upon the foundation laid by reflex movements. They usually occur during the first year of life, and unfold rather than are taught or consciously acquired. These movements involve movement patterns which change a child from a stationary to an ambulatory learner.

There are three sub-categories at this stage. These are:

i. Locomotor movement: which involves movements of the body from place to place such as crawling, walking, leaping, jumping etc.

ii. Non-locomotor  movements: which  involves  body  movements that do not involve moving from one place to another. These include muscular movements, wriggling of the trunk, head and any other part of the body. They also include turning, twisting etc of the body.

iii.     Manipulative movements: which involves the use of the hands or limbs to move things to control things etc.

-Perceptual Abilities:

Objectives in this area should address skills related to kinesthetic (bodily movements), visual, auditory, tactile (touch), or coordination abilities as they are related to the ability of acquiring  information from the environment and react.

Perceptual abilities are really inseparable from motor movements. They help learners to interpret stimuli so that they can adjust to their environment. Superior motor activities depend upon the development of perception. They involve kinaesthetic discrimination, visual discrimination, auditory discrimination and co-ordinated abilities of eye and hand, eye and foot.

Perceptual abilities are concerned with the ability of the individuals to perceive and distinguish  things  using  the  senses.  Such  individuals  recognise  and compare  things  by  physically  tasting,  smelling,  seeing,  hearing  and touching.

-Physical Abilities:

Objectives in this area should be related to endurance, flexibility, agility, strength, reaction-response time or dexterity. Physical abilities are essential to efficient motor activity. They are concerned with the vigor of the person, and allow the individual to meet the demands placed upon him or her in and by the environment. These abilities fall in the area of health and physical education.

Skilled Movements:

Objectives in this area refer to skills and movements that must be learned for games, sports, dances, performances, or for the arts.

Skilled movements are defined as any efficiently performed complex movement. They require learning and should be based upon some adaptation of the inherent patterns of movement described in level number two above. This is a  higher  ability  than  the  physical  abilities.

There are three sub-levels of the skilled movements. These are:

  • Simple adaptive skills,
  • Compound adaptive skills
  • Complex adaptive skills.

Non-Discursive Communication:

Objectives in this area refer to expressive movements through posture, gestures, facial expressions, and/or creative movements like those in mime or ballet.  These movements refer to interpretative movements that communicate meaning without the aid of verbal commands or help. Non-discursive communication can be defined as comprising those behaviours which are involved in movement communication.

There are two sub-levels of the non-discursive communication. They are:

1-Expressive movement

2- Interpretive movement.

Comparative Impact on Bloom’s taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy has six tiers of learning arranged in a hierarchical way. For example, if a learner applies her knowledge, she has already crossed the previous two stages of learning . With a little change in the hierarchy, revised taxonomy has also six tiers of learning that are more explicit. One of the other significant changes is that revised Bloom’s taxonomy has two dimensions identified as the knowledge dimension (kind of knowledge to be learnt) and the cognitive process dimension whereas Bloom’s taxonomy has only one dimension.

The revised taxonomy is different in following ways –

 It is a shift from the noun to verb words.

 The word knowledge was considered inappropriate as a category of thinking and is replaced by remembering. Thinking is an active process and knowledge is the product of thinking. Knowledge is not viewed as a form of thinking.

 Comprehension is revised as understanding.

 Evaluating has replaced synthesis and creating has replaced evaluation. The word synthesis was not very communicative about the learning actions. Therefore, it is replaced by creating, i.e. putting the learnt things together in a novel way.

 The subcategories of the six categories are also in the form of verbs.

(ii) Structure: In Bloom’s taxonomy, one has to find some ways to cut across different subject areas as the nature and contents of each subject area are different. Based on the theory of cognitive psychology, Anderson and Krathwohl came up with four dimensions of knowledge. The intersection of the knowledge dimension and cognitive process dimensions gives


Factual knowledge: It is knowledge of facts, laws, definition, terminology, vocabulary, etc. of physical science.

Conceptual knowledge: It is knowledge of theory, generalisation and interrelation of different concepts in physical science.

Procedural knowledge: It is knowledge about scientific processes and inquiry. We come to know how to perform activities and experiments, how to use apparatus and materials for teaching- learning process,

Metacognitive knowledge: It is knowing about knowledge. It is about learner’s awareness about her own learning process and learning style.

(iii) Emphasis:

1. The revised taxonomy is more authentic tool for curriculum planning, developing materials for teaching-learning and assessment processes.

2. Bloom’s taxonomy was viewed as the tools best applied for earlier years of schooling. Anderson and Krathwohl taxonomy can easily be used for higher levels also. In this sense, it is broader in use.

3. Emphasis is more on the description of the subcategories of learning.



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