Few studies have identified effective instructional strategies that motivate elementary students in becoming agents of learning and the effect of these strategies on academic achievement. The term “goal” takes on different meanings in different contexts; thus, some definitional work is in order. In an expansive sense, goals can refer to “the object or aim of any action”. Under this broad definition, goal pursuit encompasses the grandiose and the mundane, the deliberate and the subconscious. Goals include biological and social needs that are met through routine decision making, as well as more abstract values and ambitions that drive an individual’s “personal projects”
Goal-setting theory Nowadays, the concept of Goal-Setting theory has been emphasised in educational fields to make enhancement on students’ performance in academic. Goal is an aim of action that needs to be consciously gained and achieved. It involves the different levels of goal difficulty, levels of performance, and the number of efforts have been putting in to obtain the desired outcomes. Besides, to order to obtain effective performance, some conditions should be met which including goal specificity, goal difficulty, goal acceptance and commitment, and feedback. There are two main cognitive components of behaviour in goal-setting theory: values and intentions (goals). Individuals would create a desire to do certain actions that consistent with their value. Meanwhile, goal plays a key role in energizes, direct, and eventually affect particular behaviours. Meaning, individuals would become more energetic, able to develop suitable strategies and increase persistent efforts in order to achieve desired outcomes or behaviours if their goals are specific and challenging enough.
It is good and encouraged for the teachers to set appropriate classroom goals in teaching before classroom activities are conducted. Setting goals is greatly recommended in classroom settings because it can intrinsically motivate the students learning. It also creates a continuous improvement classroom setting that benefits both teachers and students. From the observed teaching classroom, the English teacher set a list of concrete and achievable goals for her students and then guides her students to engage in the activities in the purpose of accomplishing the short-term and long-term goals. In the session of teaching grammar of past tense, the teacher selected several specific and challenging classroom goals for her students in order to enhance their capacity in mastering the use of past tense verbs. The teacher also considered with the learning ability of each student when setting the classroom goals.
Student learning goals are essential for identifying teacher learning goals; however, teachers must act on their goals before they can expect to achieve the student learning goals. In their planning, teachers posit that if they were to gain certain knowledge and skills through intentional learning, their practice would shift and student learning would improve in specific ways. In other words, for teacher learning to shape student learning, teacher learning will precede student learning. Furthermore, unless teachers learn how to successfully apply their new learning to improve their instruction, they can expect little in terms of better results for students. This relationship is another reason that goal setting is so important: Advance planning for the team and student learning is a critical step in achieving the outcomes.