Students’ Motivation in the Mathematics Classroom. Revealing Causes and Consequences

Marilena Pantziara, George N. Philippou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Students’ affective domain has been popular in the mathematics education community in an ongoing attempt to understand students’ learning behavior. Specifically, enhancing students’ motivation in the mathematics classroom is an important issue for teachers and researchers, due to its relation to students’ behavior and achievement. This paper utilized achievement goal theory—an important theoretical prospect on students’ motivation in school settings—to investigate the existence of a model presenting the relation between motivation and other affective constructs and students’ performance in mathematics. In this regard, two types of tests were administered to 321 sixth grade students measuring their motivation and other affective constructs and their performance in mathematics. Using structural equation modeling, we examined the associations among the affective constructs, motivation, and the extent to which these constructs influence students’ performance and interest in mathematics. The data revealed that students’ performance and their interest in mathematics were influenced by fear of failure, self-efficacy beliefs, and achievement goals. We discuss these findings in terms of teaching implications in the mathematics classroom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-411
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • achievement goals
  • structural equation modeling
  • students’ performance

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