The Top Two Influences on Student Achievement

group of students sitting around their teacher
Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

If you’ve found yourself somewhere between slight curiosity and total panic around the question, “What in the world are we going to do?” regarding student learning, trust me, you’re not alone. As a collective body of educators around the globe, we are asking ourselves some version of this question day in and day out.

It’s tempting to identify the COVID-19 pandemic as the clear and present danger to systems of education; however, when we stop and reflect on how effective our onslaught of systems was to begin with, I think the data speaks for itself.

One body of research which many specialists and school leaders turn to when seeking to improve instructional strategies is Visible Learning. Led by John Hattie, this ongoing meta-analysis seeks to answer the question: What works in education?  By studying the studies and updating effect sizes on a bi-annual schedule, the Visible Learning researchers are able to quantify the most (and least) impactful effects on student achievement.

At heart, I’m an essentialist, and so my obsession with clarity routinely draws me back to narrowed lists and words like focus and aligned.  When we narrow the Visible Learning list from 2019 to the top two strategies, two teacher-centered influences emerge:

  1. Teacher Estimates of Achievement (1.46)
  2. Collective Teacher Efficacy (1.36)

To view a complete list of all strategies studies, visit

For a quick overview of these two strategies, why they are impactful, and how they connect to the PLC process, watch this video.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Connect with me on Twitter (@CarrieRosebrock).

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