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Motivational Profiles in TIMSS Mathematics

Exploring Student Clusters Across Countries and Time

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  • Open Access
  • © 2019

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  • Uses TIMSS data collected from multiple countries across twenty years
  • Employs a person-centered approach to explore student clusters using motivation and affect variables
  • Uncovers meaningful clusters of students with consistent or more nuanced motivational profiles
  • Identifies student profiles with inconsistent motivation scores, where self-confidence levels are closely aligned with average achievement

Part of the book series: IEA Research for Education (IEAR, volume 7)

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About this book

This open access book presents a person-centered exploration of student profiles, using variables related to motivation to do school mathematics derived from the IEA’s Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) data. Statistical cluster analysis is used to identify groups of students with similar motivational profiles, across grades and over time, for multiple participating countries.

While motivational variables systematically relate to school outcomes, linear relationships can obscure the diverse makeup of student subgroups, each with varying combinations of motivation, emotions, and attitudes. In this book, a person-centered analysis of distinct and meaningful motivational profiles and their differences on sociodemographic variables and mathematics performance broadens understanding about the role that motivation characteristics play in learning and achievement in mathematics. 

Exploiting the richness of IEA’s TIMSS data from many countries, extracted clusters reveal consistent, as well as certain nuanced patterns that are systematically linked to sociodemographic and achievement measures. Student clusters with inconsistent motivational profiles were found in all countries; mathematics self-confidence then emerged as the variable more closely associated with average achievement. The findings demonstrate that teachers, researchers, and policymakers need to take into account differential student profiles, prioritizing techniques that target skill and competence in mathematics, in educational efforts to develop student motivation.

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus

    Michalis P. Michaelides

  • The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

    Gavin T. L. Brown

  • Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

    Hanna Eklöf

  • Department of Education, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus

    Elena C. Papanastasiou

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Motivational Profiles in TIMSS Mathematics

  • Book Subtitle: Exploring Student Clusters Across Countries and Time

  • Authors: Michalis P. Michaelides, Gavin T. L. Brown, Hanna Eklöf, Elena C. Papanastasiou

  • Series Title: IEA Research for Education

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-26182-5Published: 20 September 2019

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-26185-6Published: 11 September 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-26183-2Published: 03 September 2019

  • Series ISSN: 2366-1631

  • Series E-ISSN: 2366-164X

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 144

  • Number of Illustrations: 49 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Assessment, Testing and Evaluation, Educational Psychology, Statistics for Social Sciences, Humanities, Law, International and Comparative Education

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