Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Co-Constructed Goal Setting: An Intervention to Raise Writing Achievement

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posted on 2022-07-28, 01:20 authored by Russell, Essie

International and New Zealand research continues to identify student underachievement in writing. The present study examines whether co-constructed goal setting can improve primary-aged students’ writing achievement. An intervention was implemented at a low-decile, urban contributing primary school, mid-way through the 30-week study. The intervention was delivered in the form of a professional development session, and was evaluated by comparing progress after the implementation with progress made in an equal period prior to it. The intervention sought to improve the teacher participants’ (=4) understanding of how to effectively implement the practice of co-constructed learning goals. A quasi-experimental research design was used to identify the effect of co-constructed goals on the 86 year 4, 5, and 6 students’ writing achievement.

A quantitative approach was first taken to monitor students’ writing achievement; data were collected using the e-asTTle revised 2012) online learning and assessment tool. A questionnaire administered at the beginning and end of the study was used to gain insight into teachers’ perspectives on their own practice, and to monitor any changes resulting from the intervention.

The data suggested that the co-constructed goal-setting intervention was successful in raising the writing achievement of low-achieving students, although there was no significant effect on the achievement of the remaining participants. This is possibly because three out of the four participating teachers were found to have been employing co-constructed learning goals prior to the commencement of the study, which contributed to their students making consistently good progress over the 30-weeks duration of the study, including the period prior to the intervention.

The findings of the present study indicate that if implemented correctly, co-constructed learning goals can assist in raising the writing achievement of lower-achieving students.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Education

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure Basic Research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education


Johnston, Michael; Van Rij, Vivien