The Influence of School and Individual-Level Factors on Academic Achievement

Stewart, E. B. - January 2008 - The Journal Education and Urban Society

This research examines the extent to which individual-level and school structural variables are predictors of academic achievement among a sample of 10th-grade students abstracted from the National Educational Longitudinal Study database. A secondary analysis of the data produced the following findings. The study results show that individual-level predictors, such as student effort, parent—child discussion, and associations with positive peers, play a substantial role in increasing students' achievement. Furthermore, the results also suggest that school climate—in particular, the sense of school cohesion felt by students, teachers, and administrators—is important to successful student outcomes. In total, school structural characteristics were found to have relatively small effects on student achievement when compared with individual-level characteristics. Given these results, interventions aimed at improving academic achievement need take into consideration the impact of individual-level and school structural factors on students and their ability to succeed.

http://eus.sagepub.com/content/40/2/179.full.pdf+html


How the research is incorporated into Akwai's software

The study results show that individual-level predictors, such as student effort, parent—child discussion, and associations with positive peers, play a substantial role in increasing students' achievement. 

This study covers a broad range of topics, but the excerpt above highlights three predictors of success. The first predictor is 'student effort'. Akwai increases student's effort by getting them to track it and periodically increase the expectations of their self-evaluations. The second predictor listed is 'parent-child discussions'. Our mobile app initiates and schedules periodic check-ins with families through our Send and Receive Joy functionality. The third predictor in the above list is 'associations with positive peers'. Not only do students Send and Receive Joy with their parents, they also do this with their classmates. This gets all students to interact with each other. Kids who typically don't talk to the overachievers (the positive peers) will benefit from these interactions that woudn't have happened otherwise.