In order to help the high-school principal to motivate the teacher by setting goals, it is important to first define the term ‘goal’. The term goal included the meanings of many related terms like objective, intention, purpose, aim and task (Locke and Latham 1990). However, there are differences between them. According to Locke and Latham (1990), goals can be defined as the purpose of an action, which is what one finally wants to achieve after we have done the tasks or completed an action. For example, a goal for the principal is to increase the results of his year 5 students in NAPLAN tests above national average to attract more students chooses his school. In addition, teachers can be affected mainly in three ways by a setting goal (Locke and Latham 1990). Firstly, goals can help to focus on goal-related actions. Secondly, it plays a role as an energizer; the more difficult the goal is the more efforts teachers will spend on it. Finally, individuals could become more persistent if their goals are important to them. In the process to achieving goals, there are different tasks have to be completed at different levels. Hence, compared with goal, tasks are the specific or detailed jobs that we do to achieve the final target. For instance, the goal for the principal is increase the overall results above national level by 15 marks at the end of this year. Several tasks need to complete to achieve the goal. For example, improve the reading skills by assigning three readings and related questions each week to students to raise the reading speed or have a one-to-one tutoring on the writings students submit in order to advance the skills on writing.
Dimensions of goals (Specificity and proximity)
As we know that, the final goal for the principal and the teacher he will choose soon is to help year 5 students increase their NAPLAN test results. Locke (1996) announced that individual behavior could be well controlled if a goal is specific. Therefore, it is better for the principal to set the goal with a specific score to improve like 15 marks rather than just tell her/him to increase the score as much as possible. In terms of proximity, a short-term goal is more effective than a long-term goal. the principal and the teacher can set several short term goals assist to reach the final goals. For example, suppose they have one year to improve the overall results by 15 marks, the principal can divided his goal into several levels and each level accounts for 1 month. At the end of each month, there will be a test to see how many score has improved. Here, the short-term goal can set to increase 1.5 marks each month. Hence, by setting the proximal goals, the teacher is much clearer about what she/he should achieve within a short period of time, which will also help to set a proper strategy to achieve the long-term goal.
How should goal be set?
So, how should goals to be set? Based on Darrell Zahorsky(n.d.), goals can be set according to SMART principles,...