Students' perceptions of success in English as indicated by their learning goals

Year: 2005

Author: Sellars, Maura

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Setting goals and working towards achieving them are life skills that facilitate success in a wide diversity of contexts. Goal setting has also been shown to be a useful tool to support student learning in school contexts. This paper investigates the nature of learning goals independently chosen by a group of 8-9 year old student participants in a research study designed to support the development of their intrapersonal intelligence (Gardner, 1983,1993). Whilst there is evidence that these students, identified as low achievers in English, developed considerable skills in Higher Order Thinking tasks using the Revised Bloom's taxonomy, (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001), their learning goals in English remained concrete and measurable in nature. The discussion that is generated as a result of this data seeks to identify the constructs that may have impacted on the students' perceptions of what constituted success in English. Finally, this question is considered, 'Is the current emphasis by schools and their communities on the decoding and encoding skills required for independent learning in English promoting the perception that students who cannot read and write sufficiently accurately for their age and stage, also cannot think?