There are sooooo many factors out there which impact student achievement. There’s this guy out there named John Hattie who was able to identify 138 of them. Once he identified them, he gave them a numerical value. Anything receiving a numerical value of .4 or greater made a significant impact. I’m sure you can probably guess some of these factors.
Here are a few which come up in conversation more than others:
- A teacher’s education – Dr. Hattie gave this a .41. It definitely has an impact.
- A student’s motivational state – .42 – Higher value than a teacher’s education.
- A student’s beliefs, attitudes, and dispositions toward learning – .47 – pretty good compared to that .41
Looking at the research from this perspective it would appear a student’s belief in their own potential has a greater impact than the amount of education their teacher has…that would be correct.
Let’s look at this from a different perspective. Remember when I said Dr. Hattie indicated anything at a .4 or higher indicated significant impact? Here is another figure for you:
- A teacher’s belief in themselves they can accomplish the job, and can exude that confidence in front of a group of students, has the highest impact on student achievement. 1.57 – way above a .4!
This is why, as an administrator who sat on the opposite side of the table during teacher interviews, I learned not to give priority to the amount of education a teacher has, rather to their passion for teaching and belief in children. A teacher can have all of the content knowledge in the world, but none of that matters if they can’t connect to children.
The coming weeks are going to be hard. It’s a long haul between now and spring break. You will make it though! Just remember: Believe in your students, believe in your team, believe in yourself!!!