Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Amanda Perna


Montessori Elementary Education, Elementary Education


This investigation explored if and how direct instruction on goal-setting and working toward a goal over a four-week period impacted the number of activities students independently completed in class. The amount of math and language work completed and the way the participants felt about their ability to manage their time and goals were measured and evaluated. The study took place at a diverse elementary school in the Midwest. The classroom involved is the only Montessori lower elementary classroom in the district. The 26 students were ages 6-9 at the time of the study. Students were taught how to set a goal and work toward that goal. They also planned for challenges and how to overcome those challenges. Students checked in with their teacher and peers daily to reflect and report how focused they were in regards to achieving the goal they set. Students were observed, data was collected about the type and amount of work completed, students were rated by a peer accountability partner daily, and students completed a pre and post-self-assessment about setting goals and how competent they felt in doing so. The results of the study showed that while the amount of work did not increase, students reported feeling more confident in their ability to set goals and use strategies to stay on task and on-task behavior increased. Direct instruction in goal setting enabled students to feel more confident in selecting a goal and working toward it. They gained tools for staying focused during work times. They were able to use these tools to be on task more frequently than before the intervention. Teachers may want to choose to include direct goal setting in their practice. Further studies may want to track data for a longer period of time to see if work output also would increase.

Pommereau Presentation.pdf (1557 kB)