ERIC Number: ED192916
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Proximal-Goal Facilitation of Children's Achievement and Interest.
Schunk, Dale H.
This experiment was designed to (1) test the effectiveness of proximal goals in promoting performance, developing self-efficacy, and fostering interest in activities, and (2) investigate the relationship between self-efficacy and interest. The focus of the study was children's mastery of arithmetic operations in which they had displayed low achievement. Subjects, drawn from six elementary schools, were 40 children with a mean age of 8.4 years. The treatment consisted of providing children with a packet of instructional materials and having them engage in self-directed learning over a series of sessions under conditions involving a proximal goal, a distal goal, or no explicit goal. It was hypothesized that the motivational effects of the proximal goals would lead to higher arithmetic achievement, self-efficacy, and interest, as compared to the other two conditions, and that self-percepts of efficacy would bear a significant, positive relationship to interest shown in arithmetic tasks. In accordance with the hypotheses the proximal-goal treatment produced more rapid mastery of arithmetic operations, a higher level of skill development, a stronger sense of self-efficacy, and greater interest in arithmetic than did the other conditions. The distal-goal condition did not differ from the no-goal condition in promoting change. Perceived self-efficacy concerning arithmetic competence was positively related to achievement and intrinsic interest in arithmetic. It was concluded that the study supports the idea that self-motivation generated through proximal goal setting can influence children's achievement outcomes. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Proximal Goal; Self Efficacy
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).