University of Thessaly (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 8257-8258
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.0930
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
The aim of this research was to study if preschool children perceive the difference between a process and a product goal. The product goal determines the outcome of learning, while the process goals refer to the methods and strategies that can lead to the result. 56 preschool children (24 boys and 32 girls) with a mean age of 5 years and 5 months played the same game two times with different goal each time. The goal was set by the researcher. At first time, a process goal was set (e.g. try to do your best) and each child had to throw a bean bag 10 times in the hoop. They had two trials and they were instructed to do the best they could. At second time also each child had to throw a bean bag 10 times in the hoop but now having a product goal (e.g. winner will be the one who will be able to succeed the most compared with others). They had two trials and they were instructed to throw as many as possible bags they could in the hoop, because the winner would be the one who would succeed most compared with others. The results showed that when a process goal was given, children encouraged their classmate who played the game saying: ‘Excellent!’ or ‘You will make it!’ after a successful trial. On the other hand, when a product goal was set, children did not encourage the child who was executing his/her trials. They were silent; just looking and counting the bean bags which were fallen into the hoop. The results of this observational study showed that preschool children are able to perceive the difference between process and product goals in their own unique way. So, we can hypothesize that these perceptions may lead them later in the adoption of a specific goal-orientation, as Nicholls (1989) has described, because these types of goals are related with different dispositions and goal orientations.
Childhood, type of goal, kindergarten.