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Co-constructing mathematics motivation in primary education - A longitudinal study in six European countries (MathMot)

A longitudinal study on children’s motivation for mathematics learning.

Two children working together on math tasks in class. Photo: Colourbox illustration.

The MathMot project looks at the development of mathematics motivation and what affects this process from an international viewpoint (Photo: Colourbox illustration).

About the project

Being competent in mathematics helps us solve problems and develop analytical skills. While the home environment may provide a basis for mathematics development, schools and teachers are vital in this process.

Though some studies focus on student achievement as the central goal of learning mathematics, MathMot is built on the assumption that children’ motivation for mathematics learning is equally essential, especially from the long-term perspective. We know less about mathematics motivation development, especially on the transition between elementary to middle school.

MathMot investigates the development of mathematics motivation as well as factors affecting this process from an international viewpoint.


MathMot gathers educational specialists and developmental psychologists from six European countries from North to South, East to West:

  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Portugal
  • Estonia
  • Serbia

The study is organised as a longitudinal mixed-methods design. MathMot will start with students attending grade 3 and 4 in 50 schools within each country and follow up these same students one year later.

The project is going to deepen our understanding of how motivation related to mathematics develops during the transition from elementary to middle school and what are relevant classroom practices supporting the positive development of motivation for learning mathematics.

The project team will collaborate closely with teachers from participating schools and classes both in the interpretation of key findings and in translating this knowledge into practical tools teachers can use in everyday activities. In this way, MathMot project will not only generate new scientific knowledge but can also support the improvement of childhood experiences in learning of mathematics in schools.


The Research Council of Norway: FINNUT – Programme for Research and Innovation in the Educational Sector


ISPA - Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida (Portugal)

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade (Serbia)

Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki (Finland)

Institute of Education, University  of Tartu (Estonia)

University West (Sweden)

Published Sep. 29, 2020 1:58 PM - Last modified Oct. 23, 2020 1:47 PM


Project leader

Jelena Radišić