GOAL SETTING THEORY IN ACTION
ABSTRACT STACY COKER CARR GOAL SETTING THEORY IN ACTION Under the direction of ANDREW GRUNZKE, Ph.D. In education, there is a need to find strategies and tools to increase self-efficacy, motivation, and reading proficiency in students. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of an established goal-setting process in an elementary school with a high population of economically disadvantaged students. This case study was governed by two research questions concerning the effects of goal-setting. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with faculty, focus group interviews with students, and document analysis of student goals and reading fluency scores. Using Locke’s goal-setting theory, the researcher incorporated thematic and content analysis. Three deductive interpretive themes emerged: Self-Empowerment, Thinking Deeper, and Life Skills. Three inductive interpretive themes emerged: “What You Can Be, Not What You Are; It Takes A Village; and Everyone Has A Voice. The results of this study showed that a consistent goal-setting process had a positive effect on student self-efficacy, motivation, and reading proficiency when the goals are specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, timely, and challenging.