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Predicting Long-Term Growth in Students’ Mathematics Achievement: The Unique Contributions of Motivation and Cognitive Strategies (2012)

Predicting Long-Term Growth in Students Mathematics Achievement - Dec 2012.pdf (646.58 KiB)

Child Development - Murayama, Pekrun, Litchtenfiel, and vom Hofe

This research examined how motivation, cognitive learning strategies, and intelligence jointly predict long-term growth in students’ mathematics achievement over 5 years.

Results showed that the initial level of achievement was strongly related to intelligence, with motivation and cognitive strategies explaining additional variance. In contrast, intelligence had no relation with the growth of achievement over years, whereas motivation and learning strategies were predictors of growth. These findings highlight the importance of motivation and learning strategies in facilitating adolescents’ development of mathematical competencies.

The analysis of more than 3,500 German children found those who started out solidly in the middle of the pack in 5th grade could jump to the 63rd percentile by 8th grade if they were very motivated and used effective learning strategies.

These findings link well to our thoughts on the mathematical journey – that numeracy is not something that you either can or cannot do. It can be challenging and you need to persist to make progress. With hard work everyone can meet the challenges that are part of learning maths; and to do this you need to believe it is possible and important to achieve.

This is also why attitudes are very important, otherwise an ‘I can’t do maths’ attitude can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

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