### Abstract

Many students find math difficult, but those who are intrinsically motivated learn and do well even when they face obstacles. Here, we examine an environmental factor that might affect students' intrinsic motivation in math: namely, teachers' beliefs about success in math. Do teachers perceive elementary school math as a domain that requires an innate ability, and does this belief relate to students' intrinsic motivation in math? Our study explored these questions in a sample of 830 German fourth graders and their 56 teachers. Teachers reported stronger beliefs in the role of innate ability for math than for German language arts. In addition, the more teachers believed that math requires innate ability, the lower was the intrinsic motivation of their low-achieving students. These results suggest that teachers’ beliefs that math success depends on innate ability may be an important obstacle to creating a classroom atmosphere that fosters engagement and learning for all students.

Original language | English (US) |
---|---|

Article number | 101220 |

Journal | Learning and Instruction |

Volume | 65 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Feb 1 2020 |

### Fingerprint

### Keywords

- Domain-specific ability beliefs
- Elementary school
- Intrinsic motivation
- Mindset
- Teachers

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Education
- Developmental and Educational Psychology

### Cite this

*Learning and Instruction*,

*65*, [101220]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.101220

**Teachers’ belief that math requires innate ability predicts lower intrinsic motivation among low-achieving students.** / Heyder, Anke; Weidinger, Anne F.; Cimpian, Andrei; Steinmayr, Ricarda.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

*Learning and Instruction*, vol. 65, 101220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.101220

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Teachers’ belief that math requires innate ability predicts lower intrinsic motivation among low-achieving students

AU - Heyder, Anke

AU - Weidinger, Anne F.

AU - Cimpian, Andrei

AU - Steinmayr, Ricarda

PY - 2020/2/1

Y1 - 2020/2/1

N2 - Many students find math difficult, but those who are intrinsically motivated learn and do well even when they face obstacles. Here, we examine an environmental factor that might affect students' intrinsic motivation in math: namely, teachers' beliefs about success in math. Do teachers perceive elementary school math as a domain that requires an innate ability, and does this belief relate to students' intrinsic motivation in math? Our study explored these questions in a sample of 830 German fourth graders and their 56 teachers. Teachers reported stronger beliefs in the role of innate ability for math than for German language arts. In addition, the more teachers believed that math requires innate ability, the lower was the intrinsic motivation of their low-achieving students. These results suggest that teachers’ beliefs that math success depends on innate ability may be an important obstacle to creating a classroom atmosphere that fosters engagement and learning for all students.

AB - Many students find math difficult, but those who are intrinsically motivated learn and do well even when they face obstacles. Here, we examine an environmental factor that might affect students' intrinsic motivation in math: namely, teachers' beliefs about success in math. Do teachers perceive elementary school math as a domain that requires an innate ability, and does this belief relate to students' intrinsic motivation in math? Our study explored these questions in a sample of 830 German fourth graders and their 56 teachers. Teachers reported stronger beliefs in the role of innate ability for math than for German language arts. In addition, the more teachers believed that math requires innate ability, the lower was the intrinsic motivation of their low-achieving students. These results suggest that teachers’ beliefs that math success depends on innate ability may be an important obstacle to creating a classroom atmosphere that fosters engagement and learning for all students.

KW - Domain-specific ability beliefs

KW - Elementary school

KW - Intrinsic motivation

KW - Mindset

KW - Teachers

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85071283644&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85071283644&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.101220

DO - 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.101220

M3 - Article

VL - 65

JO - Learning and Instruction

JF - Learning and Instruction

SN - 0959-4752

M1 - 101220

ER -