New Book Out Today Guiding Educators on Using Goals to Amplify Student Learning

“Step Into Student Goal Setting” by NWEA’s Chase Nordengren, PhD, equips teachers with the tools they need to help students take ownership of their learning journeys

Portland, Ore., January 11, 2022 NWEA — a not-for-profit, research and educational services provider serving K-12 students — announced today the availability of a new book authored by Chase Nordengren, PhD, senior research scientist at NWEA, focused on student goal setting titled, Step Into Student Goal Setting: A Path to Growth, Motivation, and Agency. The book is published jointly by Corwin and NWEA and is widely applicable, especially now given the pandemic’s disruptions on learning, for teachers, principals, and other educators who are looking for resources and strategies for integrating formative assessment, student metacognition, and motivational strategies to make goal setting an integral instructional strategy.

The research-driven guide provides a framework linking practices of effective educators in ways that help better engage students with high-quality instruction. It weaves research and case studies with practical strategies to demonstrate how goal setting, with clear learning intentions and plenty of scaffolded support by teachers, can lead to high learning growth and student agency; and includes guidance on how to coach students through setting their own goals – recalibrating and celebrating along the way.

“Now more than ever, students need to be engaged with their goals for their learning. This book demonstrates how goal setting can be a critical way to realize student potential,” said Chris Minnich, CEO of NWEA. “Nordengren offers research-backed evidence along with valuable advice for all educators about the power of goal setting to advance learning, motivate students, and establish long term knowledge that will help students succeed.”

“Goal setting is about taking concrete instructional moves that can motivate students. Goals offer students the opportunity to take ownership over their learning, relate what they’re studying to their long-term ambitions, and experience success regardless of how below or above grade level their current knowledge sits,” said Nordengren. “The book’s release is particularly timely as students and educators deal with challenges like the pandemic, the increasing rate at which students transition between different schools and different school districts, and the difficult emotional pressures of growing up in the 21st century.”

Chase Nordengren, PhD is a Sr. Research Scientist at NWEA, where he supports the Professional Learning team. His research includes the development and execution of needs assessment and program evaluation services for partners; supporting school improvement processes; and thought leadership on formative assessment and student goal setting practices. With insatiable curiosity, Chase works closely with leading scholars from around the globe turning theory into actionable practices to drive instructional improvement. He received a PhD in Leadership, Policy, and Organizations in K-12 Systems from the University of Washington as a US Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) pre-doctoral fellow.

“Step Into Student Goal Setting” by Chase Nordengren is available to order through Corwin Publishing Company or Amazon.

About NWEA

NWEA® (formerly known as Northwest Evaluation Association) is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators in more than 146 countries through research, assessment solutions, policy and advocacy services, professional learning and school improvement services that fight for equity, drive classroom impact and push for systemic change in our educational communities. Visit to learn more about how we’re partnering with educators to help all kids learn.

Contact: Simona Beattie, Sr. Manager, Public Relations, or 971.361.9526