Motivation, study habits -- not IQ -- determine growth in math achievement
It's not how smart students are but how motivated they are and how they study that determines their growth in math achievement. That's the main finding of a new study that appears in the journal Child Development. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Munich and the University of Bielefeld.
"While intelligence as assessed by IQ tests is important in the early stages of developing mathematical competence, motivation and study skills play a more important role in students' subsequent growth," according to Kou Murayama, postdoctoral researcher of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (who was at the University of Munich when he led the study).
Murayama and colleagues looked at six annual waves of data from a German longitudinal study assessing math ability in 3,520 students in grades 5 to 10. They investigated how students' motivation, study skills, and intelligence jointly predicted long-term growth in their math achievement over five years.
Intelligence was strongly linked to students' math achievement, but only in the initial development of competence in the subject. Motivation and study skills turned out to be more important factors in terms of students' growth (their learning curve or ability to learn) in math. Students who felt competent; were intrinsically motivated; used skills like summarizing, explaining, and making connections to other materials; and avoided rote learning showed more growth in math achievement than those who didn't. In contrast, students' intelligence had no relation to growth in math achievement.
"Our study suggests that students' competencies to learn in math involve factors that can be nurtured by education," explained Murayama. "Educational programs focusing on students' motivation and study skills could be an important way to advance their competency in math as well as in other subjects."
- Motivation, study habits — not IQ — determine growth in math achievementfrom Science BlogThu, 20 Dec 2012, 11:30:39 EST
- Motivation, study habits -- not IQ -- determine growth in math achievementfrom Science DailyThu, 20 Dec 2012, 10:30:45 EST
- Motivation, study habits—not IQ—determine growth in math achievementfrom PhysorgThu, 20 Dec 2012, 0:00:36 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Genomic info may help researchers fathom bedbug insecticide resistance
- Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment
- Lithium battery catalyst found to harm key soil microorganism
- Turbulent times: When stars approach
- New tarantula named after Johnny Cash among 14 spider species found in the United States
- Genome of the flowering plant that returned to the sea
- Researchers' preclinical trial upends conventional wisdom about responses to fear
- Reconfigurable origami tubes could find antenna, microfluidic uses
- Scientists build a neural network using plastic memristors
- How 'more food per field' could help save our wild spaces