Learning retention in mathematics over consecutive weeks: impact of motivated forgetting

Julius Serquinia Valderama, Jubert Balino Oligo


Retention is the ability to retain information in the mind, either in short-term or long-term memory. Memory in the long-term is more ideal. Thus, this has become a challenge for educators on how to transfer ideas in short-term memory to long-term memory. To concretize the effect of time on mathematics learning retention, a Time-Series Design using weekly time intervals for seven weeks was used in the study. Seven matched groups of students were identified, and took the Pre-test as the basis of the initial amount of learning, after which a group of students was assigned to take the post-test every week for seven weeks. The post-tests results were the basis of the amount of retained learning of the students.  The study found out that: 1) the amount of retained learning among the students diminished following a negative exponential curve, 2) the amount of retained learning were comparably equal with the initial amount of learning up to the second week, 3) the amount of retained learning became incomparable with the initial amount of learning after the third week, and 4) the concepts in the knowledge level have a great chance to be remembered while the concept with analysis level is prone to motivated forgetting.


Amount of Learning; Retention Rate; Mathematics Model; Motivated Forgetting; Time-series design


Nababan, Tongam Sihol. "Development analysis of global competitiveness index of ASEAN-7 countries and its relationship on gross domestic product." IJBE (Integrated Journal of Business and Economics), DOI 10 (2019).

Sellar, Sam, Greg Thompson, and David Rutkowski. The global education race: Taking the measure of PISA and international testing. Brush Education, 2017.

Engel, Laura C., David Rutkowski, and Greg Thompson. "Toward an international measure of global competence? A critical look at the PISA 2018 framework." Globalisation, Societies and Education 17.2 (2019): 117-131.

OECD (2021), 21st-Century Readers: Developing Literacy Skills in a Digital World, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/a83d84cb-en.

Mullis, I. V. S., Martin, M. O., Foy, P., Kelly, D. L., & Fishbein, B. (2020). TIMSS 2019 International Results in Mathematics and Science. Retrieved from Boston College, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center website: https://timssandpirls.bc.edu/timss2019/international-results/

Balagtas, Marilyn U., Danda Crimelda B. Garcia, and Dexter C. Ngo. "Looking through Philippine’s K to 12 Curriculum in Mathematics and Science vis-a-vis TIMSS 2015 Assessment Framework." EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education 15.12 (2019): em1788.

Education, Philippines Basic. "The National Achievement Test in the Philippines." Retrieved April 4 (2013): 2019.


Toheed, Lubna, A. Ali, and F. Jabeen. "The effect of mastery learning strategy on learning retention of secondary school students in the subject of mathematics." Journal of Education and Practice 8 (2017): 19.

Toheed, Lubna, and Arshad Ali. "Effects of Mastery Learning Model on Academic Achievement of Secondary School Students in Mathematics."

Ahlam, E. S., and Hala Gaber. "Impact of problem-based learning on studentscritical thinking dispositions, knowledge acquisition and retention." Journal of Education and Practice 5.14 (2014): 74-83.

Beers, Geri W., and Susan Bowden. "The effect of teaching method on long-term knowledge retention." Journal of nursing education 44.11 (2005): 511-514.

Lutz, S., and W. Huitt. "Information processing and memory: Theory and applications." Educational Psychology Interactive (2003): 1-17.

Elder, Linda, and Richard Paul. Critical thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2020.

Kloosterman, Peter. "Beliefs about mathematics and mathematics learning in the secondary school: Measurement and implications for motivation." Beliefs: A hidden variable in mathematics education?. Springer, Dordrecht, 2002. 247-269.

Star, Jon R. "Reconceptualizing procedural knowledge." Journal for research in mathematics education 36.5 (2005): 404-411.

Setiawan, H., "Mathematic questions in PISA relation to mathematics literacy and high order thinking skills (In Bahasa)," Proceedings of the National Mathematics Colloquium (In Bahasa), Universitas Jember, pp. 244-251, 2014.

Wardhani, S., "Learning and assessment of aspects of conceptual understanding, reasoning and communication, problem solving (In Bahasa)," pp.1-5, 2015. [Online] Available: p4tkmatematika, http://p4tkmatematika.org/file/ PRODUK/PAKETFASILITASI /SMP /Standar Penilaian Pendidikan.pdf

Brookhart, S. M., How to asses higher-order thinking skills in your classroom, ASCD, Alexandria, 2010. [5] Heong, Y. M, et al., "The level of marzano higher order thinking skills among technical education students," International Journal of Social and humanity, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 121-125.

Amalia, R., The application of model for proving to increase high order mathematical thinking ability of senior high school students (In Bahasa). Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, 2013. [Online] Available from: http://repository.upi.edu /1844/1 /TMTK1 104452_TITLE.pdf

Madu, A., "Higher Order Tingking Skills (Hots) In math learning," IOSR Journal of Mathematics (IOSR-JM). vol 13, no. 5, ver. II, pp. 70-75, 2017. [Online] Available: iosrjournals, http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosrjm/papers/Vol13-issue5/ Version-2/L1305027075.pdf

Widodo, T., and Kadarwati, S., "High order thinking based on problem solving to improve learning outcomes oriented in forming student’s characters (In Bahasa)," Cakrawala Pendidikan, Th. XXXII, no. 1, pp.161-171, 2013.

Tanujaya, B., Mumu, J., and Margono, G., "The Relationship between higher order thinking skills and academic performance of student in mathematics instruction," International Education Studies, vol. 10, no. 11, pp.78-84, 2017.

Jailani, J., Sugiman, S., and Apino, E., "Implementing the problem-based learning in order to improve the students’ hots and characters," Journal of Mathematic Education Research (In Bahasa), vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 247-259, 2017.

Cowan, Nelson. "What are the differences between long-term, short-term, and working memory?." Progress in brain research 169 (2008): 323-338.

Pyramid, Learning. "National Training Laboratories." NTL Institute for Applied Behavior Science 300.

Yanling, Jiang, and Xu Tong. "Learning pyramid theory in the application and practice of flipped classroom." China Educational Technology 7 (2014): 133-138.

Goga, Cristina Ilie, and Ionut Serban. "Methods used in the Educational Process: A theoretical and empirical perspective." International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences 8.4 (2018): 416-430.

John, Jennifer E., et al. "Memories of math: Narrative predictors of math affect, math motivation, and future math plans." Contemporary Educational Psychology 60 (2020): 101838.

Benkard, C. Lanier. "Learning and forgetting: The dynamics of aircraft production." American Economic Review 90.4 (2000): 1034-1054.

Groome, David, Michael W. Eysenck, and Robin Law. "MOTIVATED FORGETTING." Forgetting: Explaining Memory Failure (2020): 147.

Dalton, Amy N., and Li Huang. "Motivated forgetting in response to social identity threat." Journal of Consumer Research 40.6 (2014): 1017-1038.

DePrince, Anne P., et al. "Motivated forgetting and misremembering: Perspectives from betrayal trauma theory." True and false recovered memories (2012): 193-242.

Jin, Ling. Are Students Motivated to Forget Math?. Diss. UCLA, 2016. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3jj1t5hp

Rotella, Katie N., and Jennifer A. Richeson. "Motivated to “forget” the effects of in-group wrongdoing on memory and collective guilt." Social Psychological and Personality Science 4.6 (2013): 730-737.

Schunk, Dale H. Learning theories an educational perspective sixth edition. Pearson, 2012.

Uusimaki, Liisa, and Rod Nason. "Causes Underlying Pre-Service Teachers' Negative Beliefs and Anxieties about Mathematics." International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (2004).

Vandecandelaere, Machteld, et al. "Learning environment and students’ mathematics attitude." Studies in Educational Evaluation 38.3-4 (2012): 107-120.

Tou, Samson, et al. "Effect of preoperative two‐dimensional animation information on perioperative anxiety and knowledge retention in patients undergoing bowel surgery: a randomized pilot study." Colorectal Disease 15.5 (2013): e256-e265.

Devine, Amy, et al. "Gender differences in mathematics anxiety and the relation to mathematics performance while controlling for test anxiety." Behavioral and brain functions 8.1 (2012): 1-9.

Adolphus, Telima. "Problems of teaching and learning of geometry in secondary schools in Rivers State, Nigeria." International Journal of Emerging Sciences 1.2 (2011): 143-152.

Achor, Emmanuel Edoja, Benjamin Imoko, and Emmanuel Uloko. "Effect of ethnomathematics teaching approach on senior secondary students’ achievement and retention in locus." Educational research and review 4.8 (2009): 385-390.

Di Leo, Ivana, et al. "Curiosity… Confusion? Frustration! The role and sequencing of emotions during mathematics problem solving." Contemporary educational psychology 58 (2019): 121-137.

Boehme, Katharina Luisa, Thomas Goetz, and Franzis Preckel. "Is it good to value math? Investigating mothers’ impact on their children’s test anxiety based on control-value theory." Contemporary Educational Psychology 51 (2017): 11-21.

Brainerd, Charles J., and Valerie F. Reyna. "Learning rate, learning opportunities, and the development of forgetting." Developmental Psychology 31.2 (1995): 251.

Bailey, Charles D. "Forgetting and the learning curve: A laboratory study." Management science 35.3 (1989): 340-352.

Murre, Jaap MJ, and Antonio G. Chessa. "Power laws from individual differences in learning and forgetting: mathematical analyses." Psychonomic bulletin & review 18.3 (2011): 592-597.

Brown, Scott, and Andrew Heathcote. "Averaging learning curves across and within participants." Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 35.1 (2003): 11-21.

Murre, Jaap MJ, and Joeri Dros. "Replication and analysis of Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve." PloS one 10.7 (2015): e0120644.

Fisher, Jerry S., and Gabriel A. Radvansky. "Linear forgetting." Journal of Memory and Language 108 (2019): 104035.

Spear, Norman E. The Processing of Memories (PLE: Memory): Forgetting and Retention. Psychology Press, 2014.

Cowan, Nelson, and Angela M. AuBuchon. "Short-term memory loss over time without retroactive stimulus interference." Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 15.1 (2008): 230-235.

Odinot, Geralda, and Gezinus Wolters. "Repeated recall, retention interval and the accuracy–confidence relation in eyewitness memory." Applied Cognitive Psychology 20.7 (2006): 973-985.

Ramirez, Gerardo. "Motivated forgetting in early mathematics: A proof-of-concept study." Frontiers in Psychology 8 (2017): 2087.

Van Stiphout, I. M. "The development of algebraic proficiency." Eindhoven: Eindhoven University of Technology (2011).

VanDerHeyden, Amanda M., and Matthew K. Burns. "Performance indicators in math: Implications for brief experimental analysis of academic performance." Journal of Behavioral Education 18.1 (2009): 71-91.

Pongsakdi, Nonmanut, et al. "What makes mathematical word problem solving challenging? Exploring the roles of word problem characteristics, text comprehension, and arithmetic skills." ZDM 52.1 (2020): 33-44.

Huang, Vincent S., and Reza Shadmehr. "Persistence of motor memories reflects statistics of the learning event." Journal of neurophysiology 102.2 (2009): 931-940.

Tibbles, Richard. Fractional Recall: Understanding Forgetting of Mathematics Learning from Computer Assisted Instruction Data and Implications for Personalized Learning in Low Resource Contexts. Diss. UC San Diego, 2017.

Nembhard, David A., and Mustafa V. Uzumeri. "Experiential learning and forgetting for manual and cognitive tasks." International journal of industrial ergonomics 25.4 (2000): 315-326.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijere.v10i4.21577


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science

International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education (IJERE)
p-ISSN: 2252-8822, e-ISSN: 2620-5440

View IJERE Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.