The Impact of Effort and Strategy Use on Academic Performance: Student and Teacher Perceptions

Lynn Meltzer, Tamar Katzir-Cohen, Lynne Miller, Bethany Roditi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was designed to examine academic self-perceptions in adolescents with learning disabilities as part of a two-year intervention project. The major objective was to compare students' perceptions with their teachers' judgments of their level of effort, strategy use, and academic performance in reading, writing, spelling, and math. The sample consisted of 308 students with learning disabilities, 355 average achievers, and their 57 teachers. Findings indicated that the students with learning disabilities viewed themselves as motivated, hard-working, appropriately strategic, and academically competent, thus reflecting positive academic self-concepts. Teachers' judgments were significantly more negative and they rated the overall group of students with learning disabilities as below average in their strategy use, academic performance, and organization. The most interesting finding occurred when the results were analyzed for students whose overall academic achievement was in the high-average range. Teachers rated the effort and strategy use of students with and without learning disabilities as above average, indicating that their perceptions were influenced by students' academic success and were not negatively impacted by the existence of a learning disability. In contrast, teachers judged low-achieving students with learning disabilities more negatively than their low-achieving peers without learning disabilities. Thus, teachers' perceptions of students' effort and strategy use were influenced by students' academic success and their learning disabilities did not interfere negatively with this perception. Lastly, findings indicated that hard work, in combination with efficient strategy use, can lead to success in the classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Health Professions
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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