Individual and collectivistic learning goals setting

The lead teacher claimed that the learning goals sheet at her school are designed to be child-user friendly. She described that the goals are written based on the child’s instructional reading age that indicates one’s ability to understand and comprehend, and the goals are set in the first person, which is believed to help children read aloud and take responsibility for their learning progress. On her video- recorded one-on-one consultations between classroom teachers and children, the teachers wrote the goals for the children (after collecting summative and formative data) on a learning goals sheet and ensured that the children understood each learning goal. On the sheet, each goal was set with the three categories: ‘My goal during the term’,‘How to achieve it’, and ‘Honour Board’ (a 5-point scale).

In her comparative understanding of the learning goals with the GSN’s one, she observed: (a) students in both schools get to stamp on their judgment on what they achieved, (b) the Korean school’s learning goals have much more in detail in which they distinguish class learning goals and personal learning goals, and their personal goals sheet includes parents’ evaluation of achievements and teaching strategies and evaluation, and (c) in the QLD school, parents/guardians’ engagement with the learning goals is indirect in that students are given a copy of their learning goals to take home.

Tables 3.1 and 3.2 show a similar structure, but they are very different in that the QLD one is designed for individual students, and the GSN is structured to present learning goals for an entire class and the teacher’s teaching strategies. The tables should be clear evidence of differences between individualistic and collectiv- istic cultures. A further cultural difference can be seen in Table 3.3 GSN’s form of learning goals for individual students.

As seen in the table above, teachers, students, and parents/guardians are supposed to work together to set expected achievement, students need to evaluate their own achievement, and teachers should provide detailed feedback as per the achievement criteria. We cannot judge which form of setting learning goals would be effective in this study, but it becomes apparent that the QLD form is focussed more on individual students’ independent learning and achievement, whereas the GSN form promotes learning goals at a class level in a sense of community that structuralise the stakeholders’ involvement. Consequently, this post-rationale indicates that the rationale based on Fisher et al’s barometers of influence for individual differentiation and the SMART goals should have thoroughly and critically

Table 3. i The QLD school’s Year 3 learning goals exemplar (a reproduced version)


My Goals—Term 1 Week 5-10

How To Achieve It

Honour Board


I will read with fluency and expression.

I practice reading aloud.

☆ ☆☆☆☆


I will write sentences that make sense.

I reread my work.

☆ ☆☆☆☆


I will learn my timetable.

I practise my timetable everyday.

☆ ☆☆☆☆



I will quiet, look, and listen in class.

I will focus when the teacher is teaching.

☆ ☆☆☆☆

Table 3.2 The GSN schools Year 6 class learning goals exemplar (a reproduced and English translated version)

Year 6 students



How to teach



Listen to the childrens story and understand its content

  • - Use Levels 1 and 2 of stories in the [title] story website.
  • - Use the 45 story books of Level 1.


Create a dialogue section using key expressions in the year 5 and 6 textbooks

- During the morning independent study, students write a selected story as per their capacities [progress] by being aware of uppercase, lowercase, punctuation marks, and spelling.


Read the story and understand its message

  • - Provide one-on-one instructions
  • - Students can move onto the next level when they are able to read the


Transcribe the story by being aware of uppercase, lowercase, punctuation marks, and spelling

story and explain its message and key grammars

  • - Give instructions on key pronunciations such as /г/, /1/, /{/ in reading
  • - Students select and listen to three stories from the website on a daily basis in order to improve their listening ability.


Understand and explain the key grammars in the story

- In order to improve listening and reading abilities, students watch an English broadcast programme they like for 20-30 minutes without


Read the key words and understand the meanings

subtitles and re-read 2 or 3 stories per day during the semester break.

Table 3.3 The GSN school’s Year 6 individual learning goals (a reproduced and English translated version)

I can do this much!

Lesson Unit



Expected achievement






1. Compound calculations of fractional and decimal numbers

Understand the order of the four fundamental arithmetic operations in calculating fractions and decimals,


(The student) confidently converts a given task into either fractional or decimal numbers, accurately calculates it through the order of the four arithmetic operations and identifies and solves relevant problems in daily life.

convert a given task into either way when needed, and apply them to solve problems in


(The student) converts a given task into either fractional or decimal numbers, calculates it through the order of the four arithmetic operations, and solves an applied task.

everyday life


Having the teachers or peers’ help, (the student) can convert a given task into either fraction or decimal and solve a simple task.

Teacher evaluation

Fractional and decimal calculations

Understanding of theory


Problem-solving in daily life

S = students, T = teacher, and P = parents.

been reviewed by responding to the CDP questions (presented in the next section) when the case was initiated.

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