I have always been intrigued by John Hattie’s work on what influences student achievement. Hattie and his Visible Learning team have compiled information from tens of thousands of studies which include research on millions of students. Hattie recently released an updated list of the most profound influencers of student achievement earlier this month.

Here is a link to the updated list: Visible LearningPlus 250+ Influencers of Student Achievement

I want you to take a few minutes to look through this list and see what Hattie has identified through research as the most substantial influencers of student achievement. Specifically look at the items that scored above a 1.00.

There are seven items that had an “effect size” above a 1.00 according to Hattie and his research — two of those items stuck out to me. “Collective teacher efficacy” (1.39, the highest rating) and “Teacher estimates of achievement” (1.29, tied for third highest rating).

Here is a paraphrased version of how Hattie defines these two influencers:

  • Collective teacher efficacy: The collective belief of teachers in their ability to positively affect students.
  • Teacher estimates of achievement: The teachers belief about the level a student is able to achieve based on past experiences.

While Hattie shares a plethora of strategies, ideas, structures, paid programs, and external factors, two of the highest impacting conditions that can be done within our classrooms require nothing but strong belief in our ability and the students ability to achieve at a high level.


There are of course other factors that have strong correlations to achievement and some factors that can negatively impact achievement of a student. This work, and this data, helped to solidify ideas that I have always felt, always known throughout my career, but did not always have the research to back it up: YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS AND ABOUT STUDENTS IS VITAL TO SUCCESS. What we believe, as a staff, about our students has an unbelievable impact on the success in our classrooms. It starts with what we believe. With the right set of beliefs surrounded by strong pedagogical strategies that can impact students ability to learn, we (students and teachers together) can accomplish more than we ever thought possible.

Obviously, I know belief is not all it takes, but it is where it must start. Once we have the right frame of mind, we must then then surround those beliefs with deep pedagogical understanding. There is a great deal more I want to say about these ideas of teacher efficacy and our estimates of student achievement, but, for know, I want to let this set-in for a bit. I want you to think about this list and the top factors that impact student achievement. There will be future posts to come about these topics.

Until next time…keep learning; keep growing; keep sharing!

2 thoughts on “Belief

  1. Pingback: Belief, Part II | Leading and Learning

  2. Pingback: Belief, Part III | Leading and Learning

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