Motivation and Achievement of Middle School Mathematics Students

Rebecca M. Herges, Stacy Duffied, William Martin, Justin Wageman


Mathematics achievement among K-12 students has been a long-standing concern in schools across the United States.  A possible solution to this mathematics achievement problem is student motivation. A survey was administered to 65 mathematics students at a Midwestern middle school to determine their beliefs and attitudes related to motivation and mathematics achievement.  Significant positive correlations were found between internal motivation and self-reported mathematics grades, self-reported grades and enjoyment, self-reported grades and confidence, and self-reported grades and parental involvement. Independent t-tests between high- and low-achieving students found significant differences in beliefs regarding intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, mathematics value, mathematics enjoyment, mathematics confidence, parental involvement, and parental intrinsic motivation. There were no statistically significant gender differences in achievement or attitudes towards mathematics.

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