Beliefs about Student Achievement Held by Teachers at Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences

Abdel Hafid Ballafkih, Daniel Van Middelkoop


Student achievement is a frequently debated issue in many European countries. In most public debates, it is assumed that all school-level stakeholders hold the same beliefs about student achievement. This paper contributes to the debate by presenting the results of research on the beliefs of teachers regarding student achievement.

The results reveal four beliefs about student achievement held by teachers. The beliefs are centred on student efficiency, learning and enhancing skills, personal development, and active citizenship. The dominant belief is about the preparation for a profession in which a high-achieving student has good prospects of becoming a successful professional in a particular field. The results also show that the dominant belief held by school administrators (management), namely that student achievement is the same as student efficiency (how quickly students complete their studies), is questioned by teachers. 

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