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Goal structures

2 August 1996


This study examines the use of goal structures in the classroom. A goal structure determines the way in which students will relate to one another in order to accomplish a goal. In particular, this study looks at the effectiveness of competitive, cooperative, and individualistic goal structures in a classroom environment. Information was obtained from published literature, teacher interviews, a student questionnaire, and classroom observations. Results indicated that there is no one goal structure suitable for every activity or situation. The type of learning activity and classroom environment should determine the frequency with which each goal structure should be used. Results also showed that for a goal structure to be effective, teachers need to have the necessary skills in choosing an appropriate goal structure for their classroom, be able to assemble the materials and resources required to complete the instructional tasks, create a proper learning environment, and effectively communicate expectations to their students.


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