Education

Motivation + Skill = Success

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Science  10 May 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6133, pp. 661
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6133.661-b
CREDIT: THINKSTOCK

Both motivational and cognitive variables play a role in academic achievement. The relationship between these variables and academic success at a specific time point has been described, yet there has been little research on whether these variables can predict long-term academic gains. Controlling for intelligence, Murayama et al. examined how motivation and strategies used by students to learn the material related to growth in academic achievement in mathematics over time. German students in grades 5 to 10 were assessed longitudinally for both math skills and self-reported motivation and learning strategies, and latent growth curve modeling was used to evaluate growth in mathematics achievement. Results showed that although the initial level of achievement was strongly related to intelligence, motivation and learning strategies predicted growth in math achievement over time. Although correlational, these findings suggest that motivation and learning strategies should be further examined, as one of the ultimate goals in education is to enable sustainable learning.

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