Research shows that many children fail to understand the purpose of school and see learning as a series of unrelated and unconnected activities. Does your child move from one activity to another without motivation to do better or without reflecting much on how he or she can improve? Do you want your child to be more independent in his/her learning?
The first step in achieving success is for your child to understand how to set, track and assess themselves against their own learning goals. By helping students to set ambitious, yet achievable learning goals, by providing clear learning intentions and by making the success criteria visible and accessible, students begin to learn that learning is sequential and interrelated and that all students are capable of achieving learning success.
By the beginning of Senior School, students are more than capable of setting SMARTER goals.
- S - Specific: The more specific, the more likely a student is to achieve their goal. For example, rather than ‘studying harder’, a student might say that he will study each of his subjects for two hours per week.
- M - Meaningful: If a goal has a deep meaning, then a student will do whatever it takes to achieve it. When setting goals, it is a good idea to write down what achievement of your goal will mean to you.
- A - Achievable: Goals should be ambitious, but they must also be achievable so that a student can build on their momentum of achievement.
- R - Relevant: Goals must relate to what a student actually wants out of life. There is no point setting a goal to win the 100m sprint, if your priority is to improve your academic performance.
- T - Time-Bound: For school students, goals really need to be short-term, and need to have specific check-in times along the way. By setting specific daily, weekly or monthly check-in dates, students are kept accountable and this allows a student to regularly measure and build on success.
- E - Evaluate: Goals are not set in stone, and there are numerous factors that can affect a goal’s ongoing relevance.
- R - Revise: If, after completing the Evaluation step, the goal is no longer relevant or appropriate, then it should be changed and the SMARTER goal setting process should recommence.