Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Chiron W. Graves

Second Advisor

Aaron Liepman

Third Advisor

Marianne Laporte


Our motivation for engaging in certain behaviors, like the metacognitive process, is driven by the type of achievement goals we set for ourselves. Reflective writing is critical in the metacognitive process because it engages how we communicate our thoughts to others. In this study we classified twenty-one future elementary school educators as having set either mastery achievement goals or performance achievement goals for themselves in a science teaching methods course. Our study focused on the relationship between the type of achievement goals each student identified with and their engagement in metacognitive processes following specific learning activities. We hypothesized that students who were classified with mastery achievement goals would engage in the metacognitive process as measured by their reflective writing and that they understand the importance of a 3D science approach to teaching based on demonstration of competence in their essays . To determine if there was a relationship, a survey about achievement goals was conducted on the first day of class, and daily learning reflections and reflective essays were collected and analyzed over the course of the semester. Our hypothesis was mostly supported and indicated that a larger percent of students with mastery achievement goals were engaged in the reflective process after learning activities. Students who were engaged in the reflective process were better able to demonstrate their understanding of the 3D approach to teaching different science topics in class with a summative assessment compared to students who were disengaged.

Included in

Biology Commons