This report defines key terms, discusses new research findings, and examines promising classroom strategies for improving students’ engagement in learning. There are three major factors that contribute to student motivation: rewards and value, academic mindsets, and school-based relationships. It also explores the structural supports—measurement systems, teacher training, and the translation of research into practice—necessary for the scaling and long-term success of this work.
PERTS (Project for Education Research that Scales) helps educators apply evidence-based strategies in order to advance educational excellence and equity on a large scale. We believe that properly scaling educational research can empower schools to reduce inequality and create better experiences for students and teachers.
Student engagement refers to the intensity with which students apply themselves to learning in school. Traits such as motivation, enjoyment, and curiosity have been joined recently by new terms such as, “grit.” This study looks at data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international test given to fifteen-year-olds.
This series of papers examines topics related to students’ academic motivation, a critical but often overlooked aspect of education. This overview of research findings looks at examples of current programs and policies, and implications for the future.
Keeping students motivated is a challenge for educators and parents alike. By now you’re probably familiar with popular strategies such as grit and growth mindset, which are effective but not entirely foolproof in their abilities to enhance student motivation. For example, grit has received criticism for romanticizing hardships (1), while growth mindset is ineffective when implemented incorrectly. One lesser known strategy that can further improve these interventions is purpose for learning.
This paper summarizes the research on five categories of non-cognitive factors that are related to academic performance: academic behaviors, academic perseverance, academic mindsets, learning strategies and social skills, and proposes a framework for thinking about how these factors interact to affect academic performance, and what the relationship is between non-cognitive factors and classroom/school context, as well as the larger socio-cultural context.