6 thoughts on “I’ve got a question for you: What makes students successful?

  1. A comment from another posting:

    “It was my experience that success as a student, in terms of academia, were not a personal success. Doing assignments and all that was a challenge in that my kids had to redirect their intelligence to complete their requirements. In terms of negligible senescence ,success is measured, I believe, in an enthusiasm for the wonders of the world and your ability to gain the proper understanding of it. My son spent all of 5th grade at home waiting to get accepted at our school of choice. He built a zip line. Drew it out, made a material list, coated it out, worked to earn the money and built it. Then entered 6th grade well ahead of his class. Success!! [So] It was their inner drive [that caused their success] . Matched with parents that really listened to them.”

  2. As a teacher, I have seen research suggesting that students who go over what they have learnt in class 24 hours later, 48 hours later, 1 week later and then 1 month later, have much better recall. In contrast, if students do not go over the information, they will have forgotten approximately 80% of it a month or so later. This suggests that students who work consistently throughout their studies will do better.
    Other research shows that successful students constantly ask themselves questions about the material they are learning and make sure that they fully understand it i.e. students who critically evaluate their own understanding and try to get to grips with weaknesses in their understanding, do better.
    Students who do at least five past papers before an examination do better.
    Teachers can improve students understanding by constantly making links and interleaving previous learning with new learning.
    The constant revisiting of knowledge improves learning.

    1. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on how to boost learning. Do you see evidence of this in your classrooms, or take steps to help students engage in repeated, distributed practice? Out of curiosity, do you think other factors interact with practice too?

      1. Hi Erica,

        I think that students who work consistently often perform the best in my subject, Psychology. Sometimes students who have a natural aptitude for psychology but don’t work hard, fail to achieve the highest grade. I try to interleave research methods, which the students find particularly difficult as much as possible in my teaching. I also try to make links as well. Lots of factors do affect student’s performance other than what teachers do. Family, friends, boyfriends/girlfirends etc.

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About EricaK

As a professor and a parent, I think a lot about education. Turns out that the topics I teach (e.g., cognitive and developmental psychology) inform my thoughts about teaching, and that is what I want to write about here.