Goal setting in high school chemistry

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


In high school chemistry classes, it was evident that many students were not reaching their full academic potential. Most students would demonstrate their abilities but struggled to be consistent. These students often appeared to lack a sense of academic purpose. To help students find this purpose, research into the benefits of teaching goal setting to high school chemistry students was conducted. Students were taught how to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. In each treatment unit, students took time in class to check-in on their goals and reflect on any potentially needed adjustments. The data showed that treatment helped many students and at least slightly helped most students find an academic purpose. Check-in data pertaining to students' goals showed that most students knew what to do, but a large portion lacked the motivation to actualize their intentions. While the data obtained herein demonstrated general success with regards to the methods of implementation, the treatment remains in need of further refinement. Findings show a larger emphasis is needed on identifying the rationale behind achieving each student's stated goals. Such a focus would enable students to find the motivation needed to take the acknowledged steps towards their goal.




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