Empowering Teachers to Enhance Adolescents' Motivation for Science

CHAPTER 7: GOAL ORIENTATION

Resources

1. Goal Orientation Awareness

When oriented to mastery goals, students’ purpose or goal in an achievement setting is to develop their competence. They seek to extend their mastery and understanding. Attention is focused on the task. A mastery goal orientation has been associated with adaptive patterns of learning. You can give the attached Personal Mastery Goal Orientation Scale to identify student perceptions of their personal mastery goal orientation in science. The items can be used either as self-assessment or for you to determine their level of mastery goal orientation in your science class. To find out each student’s score add up their responses and divide by five.  Higher scores indicate greater mastery goal orientation.

You can give your students the attached Student Perceptions of Classroom Goal Orientation Scale to determine students’ perceptions that the purpose of engaging in academic work in your classroom is to develop competence. The questions specifically measure students’ perceptions of mastery goal orientation in your science class. To find out each student’s score add up their responses and divide by six. A higher score reflects a more mastery goal oriented perception of the science classroom. Note that this questionnaire should be given anonymously to ensure honest responses.

The attached Checklist of Goal Orientation can be used for identifying the extent to which you promote performance and mastery orientations in your classroom. The checklist can be used for self-evaluation or by asking others to check what they observe in your classroom.