What is the significance of goals in educating students?

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Goals are very important in educating students.  This is true in at least two ways.

First, goals are important for us to have as teachers before we start a class.  If we do not have goals, we do not know where we are going.  We are likely to wander somewhat aimlessly in what we teach and how we teach it.  Goals allow us to figure out what is important about what we are about to teach.  The allow us to be focused on what is important and to direct our classes towards achieving those things.

Second, goals are very important for students.  It is important for students to have goals so that they have something to aspire to.  This is particularly important for students who do not always do well in class.  Such students might come in with negative attitudes about their own ability to achieve.  If they can set achievable, but difficult goals for themselves, they can become more motivated.  If they achieve their goals they can feel what success is like.  This will also make them more motivated and make them feel better about their own abilities.

Thus, goals in education are very important both for teachers and for students.

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