This week reflection is the most reflective week I’ve experienced in MMSEL course. The parts in both the material and the movie are reflecting what I’ve ever thought about my goal in my life.
The story is started with my goal of learning in elementary school. At that time, comparing to others, I could not be seen as a bright student. My score was so-so and even my teacher judged me as the most talkative student in my class (at that time, talking was extremely forbidden in class, right?). Besides, I often did not attend class because of sick. I felt sorry to my parent that I made them spend much money to buy medicine, to check up my condition, etc. Then I thought, “What if I pay my parent back by becoming ‘smart’ student?” At that time, all I know about smart student is the one who always got a good rank. Exactly this is a performance goal. I try my best to be a good student. If I got bad score, I tried to hide it from my parent. I did not even talk during the class (being talkative is dangerous in my class).I obeyed what my teacher told me although it was sometimes unrealistic. It was all because of one thing, I want a good score. I want to be seen as a smart student by my parent.
Because I had this experience, I could feel what Kok Pin felt in the movie. Performance goal was sometimes very tiring. Why? Because all I think about is score. It does not really matter if I don’t understand why A become B. What I have to do is remembering that A become B, no matter what. I pushed my self to be the best and felt depressed if not. Getting a bad score is just like a sin. But indeed, this goal really has a strong power to make me struggle.
Moving to junior high school and senior high school. At that time, I felt that being the best was not really important. I realized that the most important thing in learning was understanding the material. Because of this I could tolerate my own bad score, because although it was low, I could see my improvement there. It was like shifting from performance goal to mastery goal. But that’s not all. One day, my teacher forced me to join a telling story competition. I refused to do it just because I was afraid of losing. I was not really confident to speak in front of others. My teacher, of course, could not accept those reasons. She forced me to practice with her guidance and I must join this competition. I heard that in telling story, it was shameful if you forgot the story or the script. That was what I bare in mind. I did not care if somehow I had no expression, my voice was not loud enough, as long as I did not forgot the script. I did not want to be ashamed in front of so many people. One kind of performance-avoidance goal.
Nowadays, I felt like all goals are blending. It is hard to be 100% mastery goal oriented without even considering that I can be better than others. Sometimes I also feel that making friends and “doing my own job” in my surroundings become purposes for me to learn more. But since I know which combination of goal is better, I try to bare that in mind.
I think one day, when I become a teacher I may sway my students to be so performance goal oriented but I’ll try my best to say that it will be better if they can understand the material. When they can understand the material, the score will come along. It will be good to see my students keep improving themselves for their own sake.