Difference between Aims and Objectives


Sometime back I bought a few books on education and now feel very sorry for wasting my money. I mean, isn’t it really very strange? All the time educationists talk about the difference between aims and objectives, which, by the way, I haven’t so far been able to understand.

Could you please tell me the difference between:

*aims and objectives


If educationists haven’t made it clear for you, how can you honestly expect this humble site to sort you out? :slight_smile:

Personally, I still fail to differentiate the two – is there a real distinction to be made?

Maybe you should share some of the “differences” stated in the book with us, Tom. :wink:

Hi Tom,

There are plenty of people writing and talking about education, who really do talk twaddle and frequently state what one of my sons calls the bleeding obvious. A classic example for me when I was doing my education diploma was in a book highly praised by all the lecturers in the Department, which stated that ‘the mentally defective child born of a mentally retarded mother is very likely to be a slow learner’ - well I’ll go to the foor of our stairs!

But back to your aims and objectives (they also like using words in pairs). I would say is a difference between the general and the particular. The aim is very vague and points at a direction in the distant future, the objective is what you want to achieve in the near future. So your aim would be perhaps to become a millionaire by the time you are 30 and your objective is to sell the complete stock of your products by the end of the year.

Let the educationist put that in his pipe and smoke it!


Humble site perhaps, but still a lot better than all those fancy expensive books, eh, Tom?

Thank you, Amy, Conchita and Alan for sharing your views.

In the early and mid months of 2006, I did two courses, Postgraduate Certificate Course and [i]Postgraduate Diploma Course respectively[/i], and now the very thought galls each and every pore in my body that I wasted my time, money and energy in it. Believe me, it was nothing but a ---------------!( certain nouns and adjectives are better left unsaid!)

There were universes of lies in the books and the workshops I attended. According to them:

Aim is something you can never achieve, whereas objectives are achievable. A teacher cannot write in his or her planner the following words under the heading of aims:

  • the students should be able to draw a line between… (draw is achievable)

  • the students should be able to define…( define is achievable)

Similarly, the teacher cannot write the following words under the heading of objectives in his planner.

  • the students should be able to learn/ understand the process of…(learn/ understand are non-achievable)

You may rest assured that they did nothing but made planner writing more complicated for the teachers. Now the teachers keep thinking whether to write this (word) under the heading of aims or objectives!

In the end, I do hope I did not offend anybody. In fact, I did not mean to, but could not hold my frustration any longer. By the way, do you know how they worship SWOT analysis? :lol:



Hi Tom

So, in a nutshell, your examples make it sound as though an objective is supposed to consist of verbs suggesting physical action whereas things that take place only in the brain are aims…:?:

I’m curious as to where you might have picked up such unspeakable language. :wink: :lol:

Have a look at this, dear!

cshe.unimelb.edu.au/download … s_rev2.doc

What are your opinions?