HOW THE GOAL OF AN ACTIVITY AFFECTS PRESCHOOL CHILDREN’S MOTIVATION TO PARTICIPATE IN IT
The aim of this research was to study if the activity’s goal affects preschool children’s motivation to participate in it. Two different types of goals (product and process goals) were used in the same activity and preschool children’s motivation toward this activity was observed. As known, product goals determine the outcome of learning, while process goals refer to the methods and strategies that lead students learn to handle a specific task. In the present study, 20 preschool children (10 boys and 10 girls) with a mean age of 5 years and 3 months participate in the same activity two times with different goal each time. At the first time a process goal was set. Each child had to throw a ball 5 times in a basket and they were instructed to do the best they could. At the second time each child had to throw a ball 5 times in a basket but now a product goal was set. They had to throw as many as possible balls they could in the basket, because the winner would be the one who would succeed most compared with others. After each trial the researcher asked children if they wanted to participate in the same activity again. The results showed that when a process goal was set, all children wanted to participate in the same activity again. On the contrary, when a product goal was set, only eleven of them wanted to participate again in the same activity. The results lead us to hypothesize that the product goal may decrease preschool children’s motivation to participate in an activity.