Growth goal setting - what works best in practice poster
This poster was originally published 9 June 2021.
About growth goal setting
Growth goal setting involves striving to meet personally-set academic challenges, aiming to outperform one’s previous best efforts or performance.
- Research shows that growth goal setting improves achievement and student engagement.
- Students who set growth goals are more likely to experience gains in aspirations, perseverance and homework behaviour.
- Growth goal setting bolsters outcomes, particularly for students of low socioeconomic backgrounds and with low prior achievement.
- Growth goal setting can be fostered through explicit teaching, provision of feedback and relevant content.
How to help students set growth goals
- Understand growth goals: Growth goals are specific, challenging and focused on self-improvement.
- Pick a type of goal to set: Goals should be adapted to the learning process: decide whether to set a learning, process or product goal. Also decide whether the goal should focus on the learning pathway or the learning outcome.
- Define the goal: Effective growth goals are positive and measurable. How does the student know that they attained their goal?
- Assess against previous experience.
- Specify a timeframe: Short-term goals are more effective than longer-term goals. Goals can be nested in daily, weekly, monthly and long-term goals.
- Break the goal down into components.
- Monitor and assess progress: Measurement can be teacher- or student-led.
- Seek help and feedback: Reflect on what can be done to progress towards the goal.
- Determine if goal is achieved.
- Set the next growth goal.