Goal setting





Only after the pupil has read the assignment thoroughly and retrieved his prior knowledge, he should determine the goal of the assignment. The teacher only coaches when the pupil fails to do this.



The pupil starts looking for the goal of the assignment. The teacher may point the pupil in the direction of the information in the assignment indicating its goal. Or the teacher might ask the pupil which part of the assignment holds any information on its goal, or point the pupil directly to it. In all this, the pupil himself has to find out the goal of the assignment by himself as much as possible.




The pupil asks himself this question about the assignment: What is the goal of this assignment? In case of a sum, the pupil needs to find out what he or she is supposed to calculate. For instance, the pupil has to consider well whether he needs to calculate what remains, or what is deducted. Should he calculate the price of an item, or the amount of change a person receives when he buys the item? In order to be able to check the answer later on, it is useful for the pupil to make an estimate. And it is important to find out which numbers in the sum are needed to calculate the answer. In case of a language assignment, it is helpful when the pupil formulates in his own words what it is they need to learn.




In order to perform a task well, it is important that the pupil carefully finds out what the intention of the assignment is. Also, a clear view of the intention can help the pupil checking at the end whether he has completed the task correctly and in full.




Word problems are a good example of assignments where a pupil has to make an effort to find which question is actually asked.