Approach to Outcome-based Education in Tonga

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To introduce local Teachers to the Approach to Outcome-based Education.

This approach will be used in the new revised Mathematics and Science Syllabi for Year 1 to 8, effective in the year 2010.

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  • The self-proclaimed "father" of Outcome-based Education is William Spady from the US.
  • Outcome-based education is one of about 20 names used in the US for the same educational approach.
  • In pure Outcome-based education, there are levels NOT fixed classes.
  • Students in the same level have similar abilities but can be of different ages.
  • Students are then promoted to the next level, once they are able to achieve the outcomes of the previous one, which may take them any amount of time.
  • Tonga is adopting part of the Outcome-based Education system.


  • We do not have levels. We have fixed classes. After 9 months then one is promoted to the next, often via, social promotion.
  • HOWEVER, we would like to adopt the part where Teacher should focus on student-centred activities that would clearly lead to an achievement of outcomes - observable demonstration by students that indicate - they have learned.


  • The Teachers then:
  1. should focus on outcomes (not topic coverage) which is obtained from the curriculum or scheme of work (planning),
  2. devise the best way for students to achieve these outcomes (teaching strategy),
  3. and devise most appropriate ways to be able to know that the students have learned (assessment). Appropriate and regular use of assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning.
  • Recording of academic progress is also an integral part.
  • Teacher shares with Students and Parents alike the outcomes - thereby, sharing the responsibility of learning, not to be a weight on the Teachers ONLY. The students also has responsibility.

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Portfolio Activity

Here is an example of an Approach to Outcome based education.

[Year 7: Material World ] SCIENCE CURRICULUM: An extract from the Curriculum include - '''Student should be able to KNOW.'''

  • three states of matter.
  • matter is made of particles.
  • particle behaviour in the states of matter and changes.

'''Student should be able to DO.'''

  • Identify the three states of matter.
  • Explain nature of matter interms of particle behaviour.

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