Graduate Research Papers

Teachers' positive and negative effects on student effort

Jeanne Turner, University of Northern Iowa

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This paper reviews the historical development of concepts regarding students' perceptions of achievement and self-efficacy, examines the literature on teachers' perspectives on ability and effort and the various teaching methods used to increase student achievement in the classroom, and evaluates the effects these methods actually have on student effort. The definition of student effort used in this paper is similar to Schlecty's (1994) definition of student "engagement," which is: a student's persistence in completing a task despite challenges and/or obstacles. This paper, however, will not focus on the related areas of gender bias, socioeconomic variances, and ethnic differences that exist in classrooms in the United States and confound student effort.