Goals, Reflection, and Students' Mathematics Self-Efficacy
Schippers, Jessica Lynn
University of Kansas
Curriculum and Teaching
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This study investigated what changes occurred in students' self-efficacy beliefs when reflection on goal progression and academic achievement was integrated in the classroom. It also identified how students' views towards setting goals and reflecting on their learning changed over time. At the beginning of the semester, 57 Algebra I students created four course goals. A Chapter Writing Assignment was given after each of the six chapters in the semester which asked students to reflect and write about their goal progression as well as their overall academic achievement. Three questionnaires were given during the semester; students rated their confidence about completing 15 mathematical tasks as well as their beliefs on the value of goal setting and reflecting on learning. The questionnaires also included open-ended items allowing students to write about their overall confidence in mathematics and growth as learners. The study's results supported four conclusions. First, the Semester Goals sheet and the Chapter Writing Assignment served as effective instruments in providing an opportunity for students to write goals and reflect on their goal progression and overall learning during the semester. Second, calculated means showed an increase in self-confidence levels of students for 13 of the 15 mathematical tasks. Third, mean scores and open-ended responses indicated that students found goal setting and reflecting on learning valuable. Finally, the students also expressed an overall increase in confidence throughout the semester as evident through their written responses on the questionnaires.
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