Deborah Hannah


Airdrie Academy

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when I introduce SMART targets to my pupils?


In order to be a successful practitioner, there are numerous strategies that can contribute to achieving good teaching practice. One key strategy is goal/target setting (C.Garrison M. Ehinghaus, 2011). Target/goal setting is a vital tool for the classroom which has been used to help develop personal growth and growth mindset. A particular approach in which I have an interest is SMART targets. SMART targets are written using the following guidelines:

  1. Specific – define exactly what is being pursued?
  2. Measurable – is there a way to track completion?
  3. Attainable – can the goal be achieved?
  4. Realistic – do-able from the pupil’s (?) perspective
  5. Timely – can it be completed in reasonable amount of time? (Williams, 2012)

Backed by years of research data supporting its viability, goal-setting techniques work and work well (E. A. Locke, 1990). I have chosen to enquire into introducing smart targets in my classroom. I intend to complete this enquiry with my first year maths class. The reason for this enquiry was due to some pupils struggling with self-confidence as they believe they are unable to accomplish certain tasks. I have some pupils who give in easily, which makes it difficult to motivate them.


The aim of this enquiry was to investigate the impact of providing each individual pupil with small, measurable, achievable, realistic targets (SMART targets).

Download Practitioner Enquiry