I have spent the past hour reviewing websites that show the role that effort plays in success at school and the findings are astounding.
Studies have shown that students who have a better vision of themselves as adults perform better in school. In Dr. Patricia Porter’s article, Effort Brings Success, But do Student’s Understand This?, on her website, www.leading2learning.com/ she says that students who plan on becoming lawyers and doctors and an early age perform better than those who plan on becoming professional athletes or musicians. The reason for this is because students who plan on becoming doctors and lawyers understand that it will require a lot of hard work and dedication, while those who want to become professional athletes or musicians believe that the determining factor in success is ability.
Another article, Study Says ‘Effort’ Key to Success Not ‘Ability’, http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/6266-study-says-effort-is-key-to-success-not-ability , discusses the fact that American students attribute success to ability more than they attribute success to effort. On the other hand, Asian students, typically believe that effort is the key contributer to success.
In The Secret to Raising Smart Kids, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-secret-to-raising-smart-kids , they imply that for decades we have known that students who correlate effort to success are more likely to succeed in the advanced stages of schooling. Students who understand that they are smarter, or slower at an early age believe that the reason they perform well, or poorly is because of their ability and not their effort. Because they attribute success to ability, their is no motivation to work hard to achieve their goals.
A great website that provides instructional strategies that address the issue of students placing a higher importance on ability than success can be found here, http://www.netc.org/focus/strategies/rein.php. In the article, Focus on Effectiveness, it shows the key findings of several studies that demonstrate a larger need t0 focus on the effort of students and it gives a variety of strategies for the implementation of procedures that will help to demonstrate the importance of effort to all students.