Report: Motivation and study key elements in math learning

1 Jan

Moi has written about the importance of motivation in student learning. In Research papers: Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, moi wrote:

Moi often says education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process. A series of papers about student motivation by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) follows the Council on Foreign Relations report by Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein.

https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/research-papers-student-motivation-an-overlooked-piece-of-school-reform/

See, Motivation is increasingly researched as a key ingredient in student achievement https://drwilda.com/2012/10/02/motivation-is-increasingly-researched-as-a-key-ingredient-in-student-achievement/

CEP’s report is Student Motivation: School Reform’s Missing Ingredient.

Here is a portion of the press release:

Student Motivation: School Reform’s Missing Ingredient

CEP Report Summarizes Research on Understanding, Spurring Motivation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 22, 2012 – A series of papers by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) underscores the need for teachers, schools, parents and communities to pay more attention to the role of student motivation in school reform. While there is no single strategy that works to motivate all students, or even the same student in all contexts, the many different sources reviewed by CEP suggest various approaches that can help improve student motivation, the report finds.

For example, programs that tailor support to individual students who are at risk of losing motivation, that foster “college-going” cultures in middle and high schools, or that partner wit low-income parents to create more stimulating home learning environments can increase motivation, the report notes, but only if they incorporate factors that research has shown to be effective.

The CEP report, Student Motivation—An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, pulls together findings about student motivation from decades of major research conducted by scholars, organizations, and practitioners. The six accompanying background papers examine a range of themes and approaches, from the motivational power of video games and social media to the promise and pitfalls of paying students for good grades… The summary paper, six background reports, and an appendix table outlining the major theories of motivation are available for free at http://www.cep-dc.org. For further information, contact Ali Diallo at 301-656-0348 or ali@thehatchergroup.com.

Summary Paper – Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform (PDF format, 598 KB) *
Background paper 4 – What roles do parent involvement, family background, and culture play in studen (PDF format, 155 KB) *
Background paper 2 – Can money or other rewards motivate students? (PDF format, 188 KB) *
Background paper 3 – Can goals motivate students? (PDF format, 247 KB) *
(PDF format, 172 KB) *
Background paper 5 – What can schools do to motivate students? (PDF format, 237 KB) *
Background paper 6 – What nontraditional approaches can motivate unenthusiastic students? (PDF format, 244 KB) *
Appendix – Theories of motivation (PDF format, 69.4 KB) *
Press Release (PDF format, 41.3 KB) *

The report discusses the role of parents.

Tia Ghose of LiveScience writes in the article, Math Skills In Children Attributed To Motivation And Study Techniques–Not IQ Score, Study Shows which was posted at Huffington Post.

Looks like Tiger Mom had it half-right: Motivation to work hard and good study techniques, not IQ, lead to better math skills, a new study shows. 

But there’s a catch: The findings, published this month in the journal Child Development, show that keeping children’s heads in the math books by force probably won’t help.

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, said lead author Kou Murayama, a psychology researcher at the University of California Los Angeles.

“The growth in math achievement was predicted by motivation and learning strategies,” Murayama told LiveScience. “Given that IQ did not show this kind of effect, we think this is impressive.”

Math on the brain

Just how innate math skills are is a controversial question. Some studies show that math skills emerge in babies, while others show that culture plays a huge role in shaping those skills.

For instance, men consistently outperform women on standardized math tests. But those differences may be due to math anxiety, or cultural influences, other studies have shown.

And in opinion surveys, people in Eastern countries often rate effort as most important to math ability, while Westerners typically say math ability is inborn. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/30/math-skills-children-motivation-study-iq_n_2382036.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

Citation:

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

  1. Kou Murayama1,*,
  2. Reinhard Pekrun1,
  3. Stephanie Lichtenfeld1,
  4. Rudolf vom Hofe2

Article first published online: 20 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12036

© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

Additional Information(Show All)

How to CiteAuthor InformationPublication HistoryFunding Information

  1. This study was supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship (to K. Murayama) and four grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG; to R. Pekrun, Project for the Analysis of Learning and Achievement in Mathematics, PALMA; PE 320/11-1, PE 320/11-2, PE 320/11-3, PE 320/11-4).

It will not be popular on many fronts to acknowledge that motivation and effort are also part of the academic achievement solution.

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2 Responses to “Report: Motivation and study key elements in math learning”

  1. Kate Martin January 1, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    I lump motivation into the “soft skills” category. Without the soft skills developed, nobody’s going anywhere but down. Numeracy, Literacy + Soft Skills need to start developing right from the time the kids are born practically. Parents, caregivers and teachers (of course they’re all teachers) must gain more skills to be able to inspire students and impart this trifecta of essentials in pre-K, primary grades and beyond. The hardest thing will be trying to help the kids living in toxic levels of stress – in households where no one is available to nurture the next generation. The good news is that this stuff is fun and free to learn (or of course as expensive as someone chooses to make it) and so even though the parents may have barriers to these things, the kids themselves tend not to especially in the early years.

  2. nitrametak January 1, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Nice, Wilda. I lump motivation into the broader “soft skills” category that our curricula in the schools need to address. Without the soft skills developed, nobody’s going anywhere but down. Numeracy, Literacy + Soft Skills need to start developing right from the time the kids are born practically. Parents, caregivers and teachers (of course they’re all teachers) must be able to easily access the information they need to be able to inspire students and impart this trifecta of essentials in pre-K, primary grades and beyond. The hardest thing will be trying to help the kids living in toxic levels of stress – in households where no one is available to nurture the next generation. There’s about 20,000 students in Seattle PUblic Schools right this moment lacking these skills. Roughly 3,000 of them are in Kindergarten and first grade. We need to focus much more of our resources on that group of 3,000 than we are currently. That’s less than 150 classrooms. Certainly we have the time, talent, treasures and technology to overcome this so that the next generation’s futures may be bright.

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