Goal Setting and Self-Assessment in the Elementary Music Classroom

Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Renee Harmon


Goal setting, Self-assessment, Disruptive Behavior



As a musician goal setting and self-assessment are everyday practice for improvement and are becoming common practice in K-12 classrooms. The purpose of this study was to examine if goal setting and self-assessment had an effect on student behavior in the elementary music classroom. Fourth grade students in a Midwestern elementary school set personal goals for their behavior, self-assessed if they met their goal, stated why they chose the behavior level for their self-assessment, and set a goal to work on next class.

The documentation for this qualitative study was through the use of a goal setting and self-assessment survey. The researcher documented students’ behavior before the intervention as baseline data and during the intervention portion of the study. The researcher gave students clear behavior expectations at the start of each class, and positive, actionable feedback throughout the intervention stage of the study. It was believed that students’ behavior would improve because of the increased awareness of the behavior expectations and their personal behavior throughout the intervention stage of the study.

The researcher baseline data showed that 33.7% of participants were showing disruptive behaviors such as disrespectful words and body language, blurting, out of assigned spots and problems lining up. During the intervention stage, all participants gave themselves a goal of meeting expectations. 88.7% of participants felt they were meeting or above expectations, leaving 11.31% below or well below expected behavior levels. Participants stated that they came into class quietly, only talked at appropriate times, and reminding others of the expectations as why they met or exceeded behavior expectations while those that did not meet expectations listed talking back, laying on the floor, not following directions, and blurting as the reasons they didn’t meet the expected behavior levels. The researcher intervention data was very similar to the participants in the number of participants following expectations and the negative behaviors shown.

While the daily surveys didn’t show much change, the end survey showed that the majority of participants felt they were more aware of the behavior expectations and their own behavior. They also felt their behavior had improved. The researcher survey and journal data showed improvements throughout the study stating that all classes were able to get through more material and few participants were showing disruptive behaviors.

Future researchers should give more time for the intervention stage of the research to show greater improvements and to give participants time to practice the process. Students do not know how to set goals and self-assess their own work. Giving students clear learning targets and the opportunity to practice setting goals and self-assessing are important steps in this research. Following the steps from this research for goal setting and self-assessment it is believed that students at any age and many content areas of learning can be improved

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