I found a study by Brookings scholar Tom Loveless on motivation via this article in the Atlantic. While the report is discussing education in the US, the insights seem relevant to other regions too:
- On measures of student engagement, several countries noted for their superior performance on a much-cited international test—including Korea, Japan, Finland, Poland, and the Netherlands—rank below average on levels of student interest.
- Increasing a student’s enjoyment of reading doesn’t correlate with improved reading scores, or at least such was the case when comparing student surveys to reading scores on an international assessment.
- On measures of student motivation, many countries saw their math scores decline even though their students reported higher levels of motivation.
- Meanwhile, some countries saw scores jump even though their students voiced less confidence.
- Domestically and abroad, girls rule in school, a finding that is consistent with previous studies. Finland owes its heavyweight education status to its girls, as the nation’s boys trail by a wide margin behind the academic achievement of their female peers. In fact, every wealthy country—including the United States—has an education system where girls outperform boys. What’s really surprising is that by adulthood, that gap disappears.
Read the full article here.