Making Kids Work on Goals (And Not Just In Soccer) is the title of a new article in the Wall Street Journal, that also includes an interactive and video. It discusses how schools are using goal-setting with students.
It has some interesting info, but I have to say I was disappointed. I use goal-setting extensively with my students, and have written about it quite a bit — both in My Best Posts On Students Setting Goals and in my upcoming book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges.
Researchers have found that it’s important for students to make both “learning” goals (I want to read more challenging books) and “performance” goals (I want to get an “A”). In fact, they have found that placing an emphasis on the learning goals results in higher performance outcomes than if students focus on the performance goals.
The Wall Street Journal article not only confuses the terms and identifies performance goals as learning goals, the primary emphasis of the programs the article describes seems to focus on performance goals.
Maybe the article is not accurately representing the school’s goal-setting efforts. Or, perhaps, this is an example of another good idea being used in a much less helpful way than it could be…