January 6, 2010


Purpose of the Study

            The purpose of the study is to identify the effects of parental involvement in the goal setting of students.  In common and historical practice, parents are considered the most influential entity to students, especially in the early years; superiority over the motivational factors is evident (as cited in White, 1999).  They can enforce or hinder behavior, in this case, motivation (Zhou, 2001).  The situation in United States educational system brought an alarming issue that even a country that imposts ample support to education cannot be assured to create motivated student, at best, good performing student.  Internal factors such as avoidance of complexity and preference over simplicity won against the comforting external factors.  This builds the crucial factor of goal setting in such a way that it creates the environment in which motivation could be enforce.  Initially, this study can validate the situation in United States educational system and show the prevalence of using the ease of automatism techniques to learning. 

            This study rooted to the assumption of the critical role of goal setting to promote student motivation.  It will test the dependence of student motivation to goal setting and formulation on one hand and dependence of goal setting and formulation to parental guidance on the other.  Such interplay could result to wide-spread implications on factors that affect student motivation in general and the role of parents in goal setting in particular.    


Research Objectives

The following questions are intended to be solved by the study:

  1. What is/are the importance of setting goals in student motivation?
  2. What is/are the effect of parent involvement in setting of these goals? Do(es) it enforce(s) or weaken(s) the goal?
  3. What is/are the factors that enhance or diminish the impact of parents in goal setting?


Review of Related Literature


The Irony of Spoon Feeding Education to Students


Nobody wants to suffer heavy tasks if there is a simpler way to achieve intended result. The presentation of this literature highlights the student in his preference on simple strategies that adversely affect the learning process.  This situation is best explained to a related situation in the United States educational system.  In explaining the phenomena, knowledge about similarity heuristic will be discussed.  In relation to the study, this literature is deemed fit to show the partial influence of the environment like the government intervention to student motivation in the school and emphasize the role of individual preference and choice to arrive at motivation.    

According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 97% of the United States population is literate.  But this fact did not exempt the country from educational system loopholes.  In a contrasting report of the Third International Mathematic and Science Study, its "eight graders scored below the world average in math while the top ten percent of its math students scored about the same as the average kid in the global leader Singapore" (Clinchy, 1997).  There are a number of implications for this phenomenon that the government of the country was alarmed.  One is that it could be a sign that there are spots of blemish in its educational system that undermines student performance.  Such defeated the common principle of economic affluence of a country that naturally provides substantial funds for education sector.  The country had extensive programs to maintain higher standards in education like the provision of funding from the government, setting standards on the system and involvement of three levels: federal, state and local that oversee the system's performance (Wikipedia 2006).  With this, the environment is unlikely to blame. 

Focusing on the student, there is a related study that could explain the scenario.  In heuristic studies like that of Tyersky & Kahneman (1983), information involving formal and probability characteristics that tend to obligate a person was less regarded than the more natural, informal and easier way of cognition as similarity technique (p. 293-315).  For example, Fagley (1988) noted that "one of the principles that seem to be followed in cognition is that strategies reducing mental effort are preferred" (p. 314).  According to Brown, McKeachie, Pintrich & Weinstein (1994), the preference is motivated by spontaneity and accessibility of similarity assessment compared to computation-based and more complicated Bayesian probabilities.  The latter are presumed to be not obligatory.  Because of its nature, people tend to give additional effort in confronting such information maybe up to the point of annoyance and frustration.  Hence, the results of probability judgments aimed to study the learning strategies of the samples showed their heavy reliance on the use of similarity information (p.18).

The automatism of employing similarity techniques to answer test questions would likely be used young students.  Eight graders in United States are commonly ages 12-13 years.  But as cited by Brown et al. (1994) in concluding their research, even college students can commit the application of the technique even in inappropriate situations (p. 19).  This reiterates that information that is academic in nature like mathematics or science that are highly computation-related subject could be applied with automatism approach like similarity which is detrimental to learning.  Carnine (1989) suggested the use of more simple signals to maximize the potential of automatism approach. In his illustration impliedly aimed at young students with automized responses, performance can be enhanced by replacing numbers by letters or a name of a country in a map like for example to the answer to the problem 9+7 (p. 603). 

However, in reality, instructors are confronted with different types of student behaviors that it could be irrational and ineffective to adopt one single enforcing approach for the whole class.  On the other hand, adopting multi-approach per student would likely be laborious and inefficient.  To confirm this, Shiffrin and Dumais (1981) pointed out that "little is known about the limits of automatism" (p. 130).  This brings about the non-universality and inherent limitation of similarity and probability approaches in learning.  Mathematics and Science are partitioned from other social knowledge largely on the ground that they are exacting.  Consequently, automatism can be of little help in studying such bodies of knowledge not only in general class, but more restrictively, to specific ones like engineering, chemistry or physics. 

As Bettman, Johnson, & Payne (1990) and Payne, Bettman, & Johnson (1990) suggested, "Other things being equal, decision makers tend to choose strategies that minimize the mental effort involved" (p. 111-139).  This is a study that included professionals on the stream of users of similarity heuristic.  In the chapter 1 of their research experiment, Brown et al. (1994) found out that the samples had a greater motivation on reliance to similarity heuristic when imposed with deadline or specific time to accomplice a task.  The output in the process was termed "suboptimal" which is caused by minimizing the effort of the respondent to be able to forward the answers on time (p.21).  If this case will hold at all levels of education and even in decision making of professionals, the world might face inferior and inefficient labor force and less valuable human capital. 

            The limitation of the environment (government, economic condition, etc) inherent to a country, as in the case of United States, suggested the appropriateness of studying the other factors affecting the student to select the more comfortable and less stressful option of cognition like similarity heuristic.  Such move according to the above discussions is in part preventing a student to achieve the higher level of education he should get.  Thus, this leads to a barrier of student motivation specifically acquiring important knowledge and developing its skills on a broader spectrum. 

This made the research helpful in order to determine the role of the parents in enforcing or otherwise the compliments of the environment to student motivation.  The study will search other factors other than endowments of a student's environment of an atmosphere conducive for schooling as provided by the government.  The irony is that the environment has the intent and capability to nurture a student, however, minimization of difficulty to achieve a certain goal is prevalent at all phases of society, including college and adult professionals.  This made the achievement of higher learning and harnessing of academic skills slow, if not, weak.  Consequently with the presence of goal, the environment could be looked up as an opportunity even at tough times.   



Facts about being Visionary

An advice a young adolescent commonly receives from elders is to maintain his focus and try to be always "in-tact".  This goal-oriented principle had been related to hope (as cited in Martin, 2003) and proven many successful adults.  Without a goal, the possession of cognition and motivation on a veil alone would be useless.  This literary review aims to explain the role of goal in motivation and cognition.            

In chapter 6 of the Brown et al. (1994) book, the authors defined cognition as "all the ways in which people think".  On the other hand, motivation is explained "in terms of the direction of thought and behavior and the regulation of thoughts and behaviors."  Since the two are the familiar concepts that directly affects the performance of a student, the study suggested that there is no need to separate the two.  The basic query that should be ascertained is the point in which they intersect to equate a good-performing student, or at least, one who reviews its lessons (p. 136).  McKeachie, Pintrich  & Lin (1985) indicated that "knowledge of learning strategies does not necessarily lead to better academic performance; students must also develop the motivation to use those strategies" (p. 153-161).  Consequently, even a student idealizes to get a perfect score in an examination by reviewing every night but not willing to minimize leisure activities such as play or watching television, the strategies are not maintained due to the absence of motivation.  However, motivation cannot be enforced without an intention or a goal.  With this, the point of intersection of cognition and motivation is answered. 

In an action, a rational and partially unconscious person would not act without a goal in mind.  It is a fuel that makes a person use his "locomotives".   Ford (1987) had a research that presented cognition and motivation relation within the external environment (as cited in Brown et al., 1994, p. 138).  In this research, the core goals were "referred as small set of personal goals that are so important that the large portion of our strong feelings of satisfaction and frustration can be traced to these central organizing concerns" (Ford 1992).  The research defined goals as cognitive representations of what we would like to have happen and what we would like to avoid in the future (as cited in Brown et al., 1994, p. 138).  It is where standards of build up for the purpose of attaining satisfaction and avoiding frustration.  

Further, Brown et al. (1994) had identified ten interdependent goal domains.  These domains are said to provide the context in which cognition and motivation could create certain standards for the attainment of the stated goal.  "Personal well-being refers to acquire self-knowledge or have a happy outlook on life; social helping refers to be a community leader or to work helping others; educational refers to earn a bachelor's degree or to earn a high grade point average; religious refers to be active in religious affairs or to help others develop religiously; family refers to develop or continue to develop a fulfilling intimate relationship or to get or stay married; occupational refers to improve your occupational skills throughout your career or to have a job that you truly enjoy; material wealth and recognition refers to be rich or to be seen as being powerful and important; physical comfort refers to have financial stability or to own a home friendship refers to continue my friendships or to make new friends; travel and adventure refers to travel to foreign countries or to sky dive or climb a mountain" (p.141).

 However, even goals can provide "direction to students, they do not ensure successful performance.  It is prerequisite that a student must exemplify strategies, plans, and self-efficacy beliefs within a facilitatory activity setting" (Brown et al., 1994, p. 150).  Simply put, one should act, at best, in correct and effective manner.  In the corporate world, every company has certain goals reflected in the manner of doing their business that can be short-, medium- or long-term.  Training, downsizing, acquisition and global alliance are done to accomplish goals like increase in output, cut cost, expand or promote economies of scope.  Consequently, formulation and sticking to a certain goal is the phase one of the success process.  Succeeding stages are highly dependent to the actual performance of necessary tasks. 

Consequently, students could be also caught on what corporations called short/long-term goal dilemma (Harris, 1995).  It is a scenario by which one or more goals could be adversely affected, if not totally diluted, by prioritizing the other.  Simple classroom goals like to get above average scores in all the subjects (short term), and at the same time, maintain a perfect score in a specific subject (long-term) in an upcoming examination could be very rare to accomplish with some exemptions.  The tendency of the typical student will spread his focus to cover all the subjects (to attend the short-term) and likely dedicate less time to the other (to pursue the long-term).  This could be easily accomplished with the use of cognition and motivation in a context of the goals and standards working together towards a directed action.  However, other factors like time constraint could result to individually select between short- or long-term goals.    

As discussed, motivation and cognition are interdependent to promote a good-performing student.  On the other hand, goals provide the context by which an intention evolved.  With the intention, the product of cognition and motivation can accomplish a specific task.  Some goals formulated by students are well-being, occupation, making friends, opportunity to travel, helping others and physical comfort.  These facts put concern on the factors that affect motivation: to create a goal in the first place and immerse into it through action, which is the latter stage.  The "black hole" is that having a weak or zero goal, a student will not perform effective in a classroom setting. 



Research Design

This study will be conducted in order to identify and confirm the importance of goal-setting in student motivation and the role of parents in goal-setting formulation.  With the findings, we can measure the crucial role of parents in student motivation.  In the proposed research, descriptive method will be used, with 400 students as a sample. Since the method is intended to compile information at the present (Creswell 2005), it is consistent to our goal of timeliness to come-up with not just facts but also something that could aid us in our decisions.

Primary and secondary data will supply information to our research.  The former will consist of responses from the questionnaire while the latter will consist of published books and other references including the internet.  Supporting interviews from experts would also compliment the study.  They are crucial both at the formulation of the questionnaire and discussing the results of the findings.   

The approach will be both quantitative and qualitative.  Quantitative approach will focus on the numerical data recorded by the researchers which will come from the result of the total count of marks in the provided choices on the questionnaire.  On the other hand, qualitative approach will comprise of additional questions to respondents that needed elaboration through text.  The latter will take the category of experts and other accomplices that could expand and explain the vague facts or findings.  




The study requires 400 students as sample.  The respondents will be students presently enrolled and at the classroom when the research will be conducted.  The target school is situated at an accessible location for the researchers to accommodate sudden and contingent inquiries.  If a certain school has all the offerings at all levels; namely:  primary, secondary, tertiary and graduate studies and can supply the requirement of the number of students per level, there is no need to outsource other school-universities.  Also important is that the school or university should have provisions for scholarship that could include public or private institutions including the school itself.  The survey process will be conducted in the school-universities' classroom and will be facilitated by research representatives.

The representative of one hundred (100) students per school level is preferred as to determine the validity of the case of United States educational system that students aged 12-13 seemed to have lower motivation to study that might signal their compassion to probability and automatism nature of similarity heuristic.  This will also give way to explain the role of parents to goal setting in relation to student maturity.  Lastly, the sample can ratify the connection of educational status with regards to importance of goal setting.

The additional requirement of a representative school of scholar admission is aimed to inject the situation of United States educational system in which free and standard-based education is not a guarantee for good performing students.  This will bring the research in a non-restrictive level in which the student has option to continue studying even in the situation that the parents are non-capable.  Hence, the formulation of goal setting will not be firmly relying on the parents.     


Variables and Methods of Data Collection

The survey questionnaire is the main research instrument.  The researchers will construct a questionnaire that could infer past research questions about student motivation, goal-setting and parent's influence.  This questionnaire will be used to assess the impact of parents in goal setting and student motivation.  Questions will focus on student's emphasis on goal setting as student motivator, effects of parents in the formulation of goal setting and factors that affect such impact to student motivation.  With this, the questionnaire can measure the impact of goal setting in student motivation and the impact of parents in goal setting.  This made goal setting a link between student motivation and parents.   

In the first objective, hypothesis is formulated that the student motivation is dependent to goal setting while remaining objectives place goal setting as dependent to parents.  This must not serve as bottleneck in the study but should imply beneficial loop where parents and student motivation relationships could be establish.  Likert scale will be used as measurement of such relationships.  As Google research engine defines, "Likert scale measures the extent to which a person agrees or disagrees with the question that is commonly in the scale of 1 to 5 with the following the scale: 1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=not sure, 4=agree, and 5=strongly agree."


Data Analysis Procedures

Responses will be collated in the form of tallied frequencies and convert them to percentages.  The information that will be gathered will be encoded in a computer and place under SPSS program.  This program provides over 50 statistical processes, including regression analysis, correlation and analysis of variance (as cited in www.answers.com, 2006). The results will be evaluated and validate the hypothesis develop throughout the research.  This evaluation will then be posted in graphs, tables and text format.             

To analyze interview extended to largely to parents and experts, content analysis will be used.  According to Stevens, content analysis "is the systematic description of behavior asking who, what, where, where and how questions within formulated systematic rules to limit the effects of analyst bias."  Narrative summary analyses will also be used to "explain views of the participants not just relying on the raw data itself" where such views could be derived from these subjects.            


Ethics and Human Relations

According to Heermance (1924), "practices are ethical if, in the long run, they make for the well-being of the human species and for normal human relations. If there is friction and social loss, it is a sign of unethical conditions." (p. 1).  In this study, not only long-run ethics will be pursued but also the short-run.  

The research is purely academic and the questions to be asked involve study habits.  To avoid annoyance from the respondents, the researcher will introduce the study to the participants in a personal manner and convince them that the data that will be gathered is highly confidential.  It should be emphasized that writing names are not required and of little worth.  This is in view that some students might not feel to divulge and open the information of their personal lives particularly about their families.    



Below are the list activities and the allocation of time to be dedicated by the researcher.  The formulation and preparation stage of the research requires one month from the researcher, while the data gathering and analysis another one month.  The final one week would largely involve the making of the final output of the research and printing.  






















Browse previous literature










Topic Selection










Definition of the Problem










Development of the Objectives










Selection of Methodology










Check the availability of resources










Verify the accessibility of the resources










Write the draft of the proposal










Prepare interview schedule










Secure adviser's approval










Do the needed revisions










Test research tool validity










Select the study sample










Conduct research proper










Administer research tools










Do the assessment techniques










Gather and analyze results










Do the necessary data presentation










Interpret findings










Preparation of the final report










Formulation of conclusions and recommendations










Preparation of the table of content, appendices










Editing and Final Formatting
























Brown, Donald, et al. (1994). Student Motivation, Cognition, and Learning: Essays in Honor of Wilbert J. McKeachie. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


Heermance, E. (1924). Codes of Ethics: A Handbook. Burlington, VT: Free Press Printing.

Shiffrin, R. M., & Dumais, S. T. (1981). The development of automatism. In J. R. Anderson (Ed.), Cognitive skills and their acquisition (pp. 111-140). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


Bettman, J., Johnson, E., & Payne, J. ( 1990). A componential analysis of cognitive effort in choice. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 45, 111-139.

Carnine, D. (1989). Designing practice activities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22, 603-607.

Fagley, N. S. (1988). Judgmental heuristics: Implications for the decision making of school psychologists. School Psychology Review, 17, 311-321.


Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1983). Extensional versus intuitive reasoning: The conjunction fallacy in probability judgment. Psychological Review, 90, 293-315.




Clinchy, E. (1997, December 22). Bashing American schools: how the print and visual media all too often misunderstand, misrepresent and thereby misreport and severely damage our American system of public education. Nieman Reports.


Harris, P. (1995, July 1).  Short-term/long-term dilemmas. (the conflict between short- and long-term goals). Management Accounting.


Martin, D. (2003, September 22). The relationship between a child's hope, a parent's hope, and student-directed, goal-oriented academic instruction. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development.


White, S. (1999, June 1). The influence of parent-coaches on participant motivation and competitive anxiety in youth sport participants. Journal of Sport Behavior.


Zhou, R. (2001, March 1). Relational Scaffolding of School Motivation: Developmental Continuities in Students' and Parents' Ratings of the Importance of School Goals. Journal of Genetic Psychology.



Electronic Sources


Internet (2006). Answers.com. Retrieved February 13, 2006, from www.answers.com.


Internet. (2006) High Beam Research. Retrieved February 10, 2006, from www.highbeam.com.


Internet (2006). Google. Retrieved February 10, 2006, from www.google.com.


Internet (2006) Questia Online Library. Retrieved February 9, 2006, from www.questia.com.


Internet (2006). Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrived February 10, 2006, from www.wikipedia.org.  


Stevens, M. (unknown). Selected Qualitative Methods. Interactive Textbook on Clinical Symptom Research. Retrieved February 10, 2006, from www.symptomresearch.nih.gov.


Julia said...

Motivating student is very complicated the fact that they perceived lots of different ideas in schools and their peers. Parents must set different kinds of plans. short and long term strategies for them to guide those youngsters. They must focus on teaching their children the proper way so that their children will not be misguided. This is a relevant topic because they are our future.

joseluison06 said...


I read this post 2 times. It is very useful.

Pls try to keep posting.

Let me show other source that may be good for community.

Source: Performance appraisal samples

Best regards

Search your topic below.
We have more than 2,000 FREE Research Proposals in this FREE library.

Search This Blog

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts