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).
Science Daily Dec. 20, 2012
Scientific American Dec 28, 2012
Kou Murayama, et. al.
Predicting Long-Term Growth in Students' Mathematics Achievement: The Unique Contributions of Motivation and Cognitive Strategies.
Child Development, 20 DEC 2012 DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12036