Robin Nagy

Postgraduate Research Student

Thesis Title

Measuring and Tracking Students’ Effort in High School: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Approaches Based on Student and Teacher Perspectives



Our school systems typically measure success in terms of academic achievement, rather than student learning and growth. How can we encourage students to try their best if their efforts are not rewarded by this systemic success measure? This PhD, proposes a multidimensional model of student effort, to investigate the factors influencing and mitigating against effort in high school. In completing this PhD, it is anticipated that student effort can be reliably targeted to nurture students’ growth, develop intrinsic motivation for learning and help students fulfil their academic potential. It will help to shift the systemic ‘success-focus’ away from an exclusive emphasis on outcomes of learning, towards the more important processes of learning. 


Robin has taught mathematics and been a senior leader in secondary schools for over 20 years in the UK, Thailand and Australia, receiving a special commendation in 2000 at the UK national teaching awards. He has also been a professional learning consultant for the Mathematical Association of NSW, running professional development for mathematics teachers across the state. In addition to being a PhD candidate, Robin is an educational consultant, advising schools on best practice in implementing data-driven student growth strategies. His PhD research is an investigation into the optimisation of high-school students’ effort, building on his work as a practitioner on the measurement and tracking of student effort to improve intrinsic motivation for learning.