Thinking back to my education in the 80s, I can not recall ever being told what we were learning or why. School was an institution one attended because one had to attend. The teachers provided students with subject-specific learning opportunities and, in most cases, assessed using a multiple-choice exam. Consequently, I did not find purpose in anything happening in school, and I was not engaged in the learning process because congruence was missing. I understood the importance of congruence in education only when I attended post-secondary education.
I attended a Designing Learning course in the second year of my Bachelor of Education degree. The course started with a discussion about the objectives with the course outline, which allowed all the students to understand the ‘big picture’ for their learning. Next, we created ‘I can statements’ for each objective we studied and then used backward design to create the assessment to match the objectives. These lessons demonstrated what was missing in my high school experience as a student: PURPOSE. If I had been more involved in understanding why I needed to learn the objectives or complete the activities, I would have been more invested in my education. This was a pivotal moment for my education as a student and as a future teacher.