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Difference Between Goal Structure And Goal Orientation

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Both goal structure and goal orientation influence the way students perceive the purpose of goal setting and achievement. To understand the effect, it is important to distinguish the difference between goal structure and goal orientation when considering students’ motivation, behaviors and the reasons, or purposes, for engaging in academic work.
Classroom goal structures refers to the learning environment in which the learning takes place and influences a student’s perception on what it means to achieve. According to Wolters (2004), achievement goal theorists have established two categories of goal structures:
• Classroom mastery goal structures: an environment in which the instructional practices, policies, and norms convey to
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236).
There is a direct correlation between goal structures, goal orientations and student achievement. Lau and Nie (2008) examined the interaction between classroom goal structures and personal goal orientations to the prediction of students’ achievement and motivational outcomes (p. 15). The study consisted of 3,943 grade five students from 130 classrooms in 38 elementary schools in Singapore. The participating schools represented a wide spectrum of achievement levels to ensure a “natural variance” of demographics and classroom characteristics. The mixed-methodology study included qualitative surveys to gather data on students’ motivational beliefs, academic behaviors, and perceived classroom goal structure as well as quantitative data from a math achievement test. Lau et al. analyzed students’ responses to determine their personal goal orientation. All participants completed an achievement test that consisted of four types of questions and required: (1) an understanding of basic math concepts, (2) performing routine mathematical procedures, (3) using complex procedures and (4) working to solve novel problems
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