Motivation, use of target grades and their effect
John Robertson, Matthew Arnold School
John examined the issue of the awarding of grades and the use of predicted grades in relation to levels of pupil motivation using interviews and analysis of predicted grades against achievement data. The biggest finding was that there was a lack of agency among PPG pupils with diminished motivation. He notes that while it is important not to generalise about PPG learners or to label them, it is also important not to ignore these findings and these trends. Other noteworthy findings include: 1) sharing ‘target’ data or ‘chances’ data had a negative effect on the motivation of most PPG students in year 7; and 2) 16% of pupils misunderstood the purpose of the projected achievement data, thinking that their projected grade was somehow guaranteed. John advises teachers not to set ‘revision’ as homework, but rather to set a task where students hand something in showing they have revised.