At the heart of Curriculum for Excellence is every teacher’s responsibility to develop our young people into confident individuals and successful learners, prepared to go on to be responsible citizens and effective contributors to society. In addition to this, several academics such as Moore et al., (2001) have indicated that goal setting can lead to pupils developing a greater sense of self-efficacy in their learning. Locke (1996) has also stated that working towards specific goals can boost productivity and as a result, increase self-efficacy through the feelings of success and self-satisfaction generated through achieving these goals. More importantly for Scottish teachers, the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) (2012) suggests it is our duty of care to ensure individuals are provided with the highest levels of educational standards possible within a nurturing and supportive environment. With this being said, each member of my group expressed concern at the general lack of confidence in some of the young people in our care and a sense of ‘learned helplessness’ with regard to their learning. As a result, it was decided that we would look into the impact of target setting and the impact it had on pupil motivation and their mindset to learn.
The aim of this enquiry was to discover what happened when a whole class target setting system was implemented. While this project could have taken several different routes of enquiry, it was decided to investigate, more specifically, the impact that goal setting had on pupil motivation and in essence, their growth mindset.