Educational aspirations/attainment, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects, is critical to Australia’s socio-economic future. However, despite government initiatives, Australia is falling behind internationally. This project will explicate the vital role of motivation and self-concept as drivers of STEM engagement, coursework selection, aspirations, and long-term attainment.

Recent advances in expectancy-value theory and research will be tested with secondary data analyses based on the biggest and best databases from Australia (eg LSAY) and internationally (eg TIMSS, PISA). From this we will undertake a fresh longitudinal primary study, utilise innovative statistical models, test novel predictions extending theory in relation to diverse educational and socio-economic outcomes, and resolve theoretical issues to explicate the role of motivation as a solution to this national crisis.


Professor Herb Marsh, Professor Alexandre Morin, Dr Philip Parker

Start date

01 January 2013 

End date

31 December 2015 

Funding body

ARC Discovery grant 


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