Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


College of Education

First Advisor

Susan Schramm-Pate


The purpose of this qualitative action research study is to explore the impact of goal setting on the learning process of fifth-grade students in a Title I school. The subjects of this research study are 17 fifth-grade student-participants along with their homeroom teacher-participant. A goal setting unit was designed specifically for this action research study to enable student-participants to experience setting mastery goals and to develop an academic engagement practice through goal setting; thus empowering them for future learning. Semi-structured student interviews, student data journals in the form of goal setting forms, and an open-ended interview with the teacher-participant provide the data for this research. Focus Elementary School (pseudonym) studentparticipants' and their homeroom teacher-participant’s reaction to the goal setting unit was found to impact the learning process in the form of academic engagement through the themes of self-regulation, self-efficacy, and future focus in the classroom. The participant-researcher reflected on the data with school leadership, including the teacherparticipant, to determine future implementation of a student engagement plan focused on goal setting for fifth-grade classrooms at FES. An action plan designed to enable teachers to empower students for future learning through goal setting was developed through this research study.


© 2017, Susan Ridgeway Nunamaker