Knowledge and Resource Hub
25 September 2018

PISA Australia in Focus Number 3: Motivation

This research used data from The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 which examined students’ motivation to achieve in science learning. Section A of the report focused on achievement motivation and motivation evaluation from PISA 2015, while section B focused on instrumental motivation to learn science from the 2006 and 2015 PISA data collections and changes in how students have responded to these items over time. Comparisons were also made with eleven countries, including both high-performing and culturally similar English-speaking countries for comparison with Australia. In relation to instrumental motivation to learn science in Australia, from 2006 to 2015, students’ instrumental motivation appears to have increased significantly. However while the differences were statistically significant, in practical terms the percentage differences were generally small (less than 10 percentage points). While no significant differences in instrumental motivation were found between male and female students or between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, students from the lowest socioeconomic quartile recorded lower motivation than students in other groups in both 2006 and 2015.