Two of the four capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence are to enable development of learners to be confident individuals and successful learners (Scottish Executive, 2004). However, within my current class of primary 1/2s I noticed many of the pupils demonstrated a lack of confidence in their own ability, particularly in their literacy ability; this was evident through questions during tasks in relation to aspects of literacy in which they had already achieved proficiency in. The pupils seemed to have developed a sense of learned helplessness, by perceiving themselves as powerless, in their own learning and consequently they exerted less effort within learning. This in turn affected their confidence and self- efficacy within their learning. Therefore, I wanted to increase these aspects so that pupils could work towards being confident individuals and successful learners.
Zimmerman and colleagues (1992) have suggested that a way to develop self-efficacy in pupils is through setting achievable targets in their learning. They indicated that working towards a specific goal can boost the individual’s productivity and as a result increasing self- efficacy through the self-regulating reinforced positive feeling of success and self-satisfaction in reaching their targets (Schunk, 1990).
The aim of this study was to observe the effect of whole class target setting on a primary 1/2 class. Specifically, I was observing the impact the target setting had on the pupils’ self- motivation for learning and self-efficacy in the classroom in relation to their learning.