Learning goals are part and parcel of the educational process – the structure by which teachers transmit and students acquire knowledge. Historically, institutions and/or educators construct learning goals, with minimal input from those being asked to achieve them. More recently, the line between learning goals and performance goals has become blurred/interchangeable the result of social and/or financial pressures on these institutions. While performance goals are quantifiable, they rarely account for individual styles of learning. As any educator can tell you, just teaching to the test does not result in students who can think critically. True learning goals take into account the individual’s intellectual and personal qualities, and make them a partner, not just a participant, in the process.
Performance goals are intrinsic to rehabilitation therapy as well. Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists regularly check their patients’ progress as they work towards an optimal outcome they have set for them. However, evidence shows that if a client visualizes their desired outcome, and contrasts that vision with their current status quo, it is much more motivating than the opposite. Social psychology has also concluded that even subtle environmental aspects and implementation intentions can influence completion of a task. Manageable tasks that take into account the individual’s innate approach to executing those tasks have the best chance of success.
How do you set your goals for your clients? Are you patient-centered or performance-centered? What factors have most influenced outcomes? Centra wants to hear from you! Leave a comment on our Facebook page.