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Case Study #2 - Middle school

The challenge

A middle school was looking to introduce the goal setting process into their curriculum. Having researched and decided the S.M.A.R.T. methodology was ideal for their students, they wanted a software solution that would enable their teachers to implement this method simply and efficiently.

The desired outcomes

  1. Educate students on the importance of goal setting and how they should go about it and
  2. Give the students practical ways to set goals themselves and then ensure they had the support to achieve them.

The solution

The school introduced two main elements to their goal setting programme. Firstly, they did the theoretical component around explaining the S.M.A.R.T. methodology. It was important students knew how to “frame” goals for themselves and so games were developed where students had to determine whether a specific goal was S.M.A.R.T. or not. Further to this, the students were introduced to historical examples of goal setting that was successful and why. A notable example was Roger Bannister breaking the “four minute mile” middle distance running record in 1954.

Secondly, the students got to deploy their newfound knowledge using Lifetick. This was broken up into three areas: an individual scholastic goal (e.g. a B in Mathematics), a team assignment goal (using the shared goal functionality in Lifetick) and a goal of their choosing unrelated to academic studies. Students were encouraged to be as creative as they liked with only one condition - the goal had to be a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Beyond that, the class would have a weekly lesson where they could update progress, ask questions and share experiences. They could also refine their initial goals based on their experiences to date. Keeping the weekly checkpoint served as an excellent reminder to the students that slowly and surely working towards your goals will give you the best chance of success.

The feedback

Overall, the teachers were impressed with the students’ ability to quickly grasp and then subsequently apply their knowledge on goal setting. Of particular significance was the way in which the children understood the difference between goals and dreams. Lifetick provides the ability to capture dreams as well as goals and the teachers felt that the students were more grounded by understanding the difference between the two and that it is ok to have both. Finally, the students were able to appreciate that working towards goals can be hard work and that this shouldn’t deter them, but rather by following a methodology and using a tool like Lifetick, they increase their chances of success.

Our take

We see goal setting as an essential life skill and the earlier it is introduced the more purposeful someone can be in financial and aspirational matters. Having goals isn’t about trying to drive kids relentlessly toward certain objectives. In fact, this is contrary to our philosophy. However, providing a solid grounding in areas such as this can help prepare kids for the “real world” when things like careers and financial matters become important and relevant in their day to day lives.