The effects of goal setting and reflection on motivation and academic growth in a high school science classroom

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


An educator's role is to help their students to develop into well rounded humans. Teaching skills that will be valuable for everyone no matter what career they may proceed is essential for all teachers. Goal setting is an extremely beneficial strategy to reduce stress and help people be successful in all realms of life, not just school. The purpose of this study was to look at how goal setting and reflection would affect students' motivation and self-efficacy as well as help them be more academically successful. The study had students set academic and personal goals, using the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting methods. Students regularly reflected on their goals and edited them based on changes, both successes and failures. During both the non-treatment and the treatment unit, varied quantitative and qualitative data was collected and interpreted to compare changes in motivation and academic growth between units. There was a significant increase in test scores during the treatment unit as well as a notable increase in motivation and students' attitudes in class. Students learned a skill that showed them academic success allowing them to become more confident in class and also potentially out of class.




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