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PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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Do Students Have the Drive to Succeed?

  • When students believe that investing effort in learning will make a difference, they score significantly higher in mathematics.
  • The fact that large proportions of students in most countries consistently believe that student achievement is mainly a product of hard work, rather than inherited intelligence, suggests that education and its social context can make a difference in instilling values that foster success in education.
  • Teachers’ use of cognitive-activation strategies, such as giving students problems that require them to think for an extended time, presenting problems for which there is no immediately obvious way of arriving at a solution, and helping students to learn from their mistakes, is associated with students’ drive.
  • Students whose teachers set clear goals for learning and offer feedback on their performance in mathematics also tend to report higher levels of perseverance and openness to problem solving.

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