The relation between student motivation and reading performance

The relation between student motivation and reading performance

By Marta Pellegrini, University of Florence, Italy

The latest issue of Review of Educational Research presents a meta-analysis on the relationship between reading achievement and motivation. The review examined whether ability to decode and understand text, goal orientation, students’ at-risk status, or grade level moderated the relationship, as well as whether motivation and reading are related over time.

Jessica Toste and colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Iowa included 132 peer-reviewed articles with 1,154 effect sizes. Most of the studies took place in the United States (41%). Other studies are from Canada or Europe. Results suggest that the relation between motivation and reading achievement is moderate (ES = +0.22). For specific reading domains, average correlations with motivation were moderate as well: ES = +0.19 for the ability to read in an accurate and fluent way, ES = +0.21 for the ability to understand and learn from reading text, and ES= +0.23 for general reading. Further analysis showed that self-perception of reading competency had a stronger correlation with reading (ES = +0.27) than goal orientation (ES = +0.05). In addition, interest (ES = +0.17) had a stronger correlation with reading compared to goal orientation. At-risk status and grade level were not significant moderators.

Finally, the review examined the relation between motivation and reading over time, including eight longitudinal studies. The results indicated positive, significant associations in both directions, with early reading as a stronger predictor of later motivation than early motivation predicted reading achievement.

3 thoughts on “The relation between student motivation and reading performance

  1. Reblogged this on Paul's Random Thoughts / Gedachten and commented:
    Among other things, the review examined the relationship between motivation and reading over time, including eight longitudinal studies. The results indicated positive, significant associations in both directions, but the relation between early reading ability was a stronger predictor of later motivation than early motivation to read predicted reading achievement. In other words, success is more important for motivation than motivation is for success.

    Like

    1. “In other words, success is more important for motivation than motivation is for success.”

      Exactly what we see in our new STEM Stars Are Readers program— just as we saw in our very successful math programs over the years. The first obstacle is to overcome the fear of failure (or the memory of persistent failure). Once students understand they can do it (“Hey, this math/reading stuff isn’t so hard.”) then you can work on the next level of motivation, enthusiasm. And the key to helping our smartphone-addled, vocabulary-poor generation of students to succeed is make sure they have the word power they need _before_ they tackle any new texts.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s