≡ Menu

What is the Single Greatest Factor to Student Success?

what is the single greatest factor to student success teacher job interview question

How would you respond if asked this important teacher interview question?

What is the single most significant factor in student success?

Below is a sample answer to help you prepare for your next education job interview.

Many factors contribute to a student’s academic success, and there are many theories about what will help increase your student’s educational success. Setting and communicating reasonable and challenging expectations will help to achieve student success.

The issues that can influence school performance include socioeconomic status, parenting, quality and quantity of time spent away from primary caregivers, parental expectation, the degree of physical and mental health, effects of peer relationships, and meeting of nutritional needs.

Parent involvement and motivation are among the most significant factors in academic success. About 70-90% of students who get As or Bs in school report being encouraged by their parents to do well. Parental involvement may help children understand that education is essential. Such parents may also help with homework, occasionally volunteer at school, and attend conferences or meetings with teachers.

In contrast, at least in one study, about 49% of children who earn Cs or lower report that their parents do not encourage them. Schools also regularly say better performance and academic success are more likely when parents actively participate in their child’s education.

However, if I had to choose only one factor as the most important, I would have highly trained teachers using effective current methods. Over 200 studies (What Matters Most, 1996) have said that a knowledgeable and skillful teacher is the most significant factor in improving student learning.

  • Teacher expertise accounts for more difference in student performance—40 percent—than any other factor. Ferguson (2001)
  • Students with several effective teachers make dramatic achievement gains, while those with even two ineffective teachers lose significant ground. Sack (1999)
  • Based on research in Texas, the importance of having an effective teacher instead of an average teacher for four or five years in a row could essentially close the gap in math performance between students from low-income and high-income households. Hanushek, Kain, and Rivkin. (2001)
  • The difference in teacher effectiveness is the single most significant factor affecting the academic growth of populations of students. Sanders (2000)
  • The differences in impact by the most effective teachers, the top one-sixth of teachers, can be.
    Credit: Harry K. Wong HarryKRose@aol.com

The achievement gap facing poor and minority students is due to poverty or family conditions and systematic differences in teacher quality. A student taught by an ineffective teacher for two years can never recover the learning lost during those years. As a teacher’s effectiveness increases, the lower-achieving students are the first to benefit from this improvement.

Determining what needs to be taught and correctly implemented is critical to classroom success and teaching with excellence.

If you are already here, you might as well check out our career eBooks, including:

152 School Teacher OR 152 School Administrator Job Interview Questions and Answers

Instantly prepare for your next education job interview to win the job offer of your dreams. The detailed 152 sample responses to these job interview questions will help you WOW the panel. There is no delay—you can download it now!