Noreen Ann Flynn


Airdrie Academy

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when I introduce SMART targets to my pupils?


There are many instructional strategies that contribute to good teaching practice; one being target setting (Garrison & Ehringhaus, 2011). Target/Goal setting is an important tool for personal growth and growth mindset. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely (SMART) targets, are personal targets set by pupils to help them achieve. I chose to enquire about introducing smart targets in my classroom. Working as a music teacher in a secondary school, I noticed some pupils struggling with self-belief-they thought they could not accomplish certain tasks, they gave up easily, and it was difficult to get them motivated. Smart targets allow pupils to practice self-control, and to have control over their destinies. Setting targets is not just beneficial for learners, but it also encourages teachers to reflect and share their experiences with each other (Martinez et al., 2001).


The aim of this enquiry was to help raise self-esteem, confidence, achievement, motivation, and general growth mindset amongst pupils. By encouraging pupils to set their own targets, this would hopefully keep them engaged, not just towards achieving the outcome, but also in the entire learning process. Smart targets also forced pupils to identify challenges in their learning, and hopefully encourage them to reflect on the process once their target has been reached. By using instructional strategies, establishing and discussing quality targets together at the beginning of the week, the aim was for pupils to take leadership in their own learning and success (Garrison & Ehringhaus, 2011).

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