Walberg’s Educational Productivity Model: What It Is And What Does It Propose

This explanatory model of education sees learning as a productive process.

Walberg's educational productivity model

In educational psychology many theories are known that attempt to explain how students learn. Here we will learn about Walberg’s educational productivity model, which tries to determine what factors influence the student’s academic performance or achievement, and in what way.

According to the model, there are 4 fundamental variables in the learning process that influence the final performance of a student. We are going to know what they are and what each one of them consists of.

Walberg’s model of educational productivity

Walberg’s model of educational productivity was developed in 1981 and perfected in 1984. It is based on the cognitive learning theory that understands the learning process of students as a production process.

It uses as inputs various institutional, academic, demographic and / or economic factors, and as output the student’s academic performance, or the passing of a certain subject.

For Walberg, educational productivity is the degree to which learning increases while costs are minimized.

Model components

There are 4 central components of Walberg’s educational productivity model, which interact with each other to explain student performance. Thus, these 4 central elements combine and influence each other, to determine the final performance of the student. If the student has favorable aptitudes and a suitable and stimulating environment, learning can be positive in terms of attitudes, behaviors and knowledge.

1. Student fitness

The student’s aptitude is one of the central factors of the model. This attitude is made up of 3 basic components, which are:

1.1. The capacity or “amount” of fitness

It includes cognition and knowing. It would be the previous performance of the student.

1.2. The motivation

It implies wanting to do something. He also calls it self-concept, and it is defined by personality tests; it would be the student’s will to persevere intensely in the learning tasks.

1.3. The level of development

It consists of the development, age or stage of maturity of the student to incorporate certain learning

On the other hand, within the student variables, the cognitive variables will be very relevant to previous performance. Along these lines, Walberg highlights the student’s Intellectual Coefficient (IQ) as a variable closely related to performance.

2. Environment where he learns

The environment where the student learns will influence learning. We can differentiate between different types of environment: home (closer and more intimate), that of friends, that of the media (for example television), that of classmates, that of the class climate and that of school, etc. . These last two will be the most important when it comes to paying attention to them.

Walberg highlights from the environment the performance of homework (which must be evaluated), the environment or morals of the class and home as variables that especially influence performance.

3. Learning

It consists of acquiring new knowledge, and can be of different types: affective, behavioral and cognitive learning.

Learning will be greater with a cooperative and goal-driven environment. In addition, an environment that provides stimulation and a teacher with good teaching techniques will also be variables that will drive learning.

4. Teaching

This will vary in terms of quantity and quality (the higher the quantity and quality, the more likely the student will perform).

Quantity is the time that students are engaged in learning, and quality is typical of the teaching experience, which includes aspects of the method (psychological) and curricular (content).

A well-planned and organized teaching will favor learning and performance, as well as the existence of tutorials and feedback from teachers. On the other hand, it will also be positive that the student dedicates effort and enough time to the task.

The influence of each component

According to Walberg’s model of educational productivity, in terms of importance, the most important element will be the classroom climate (within the environment), followed by the ability of the student and the quality of teaching.

On the other hand, we must not forget other elements that also play an important role for performance (although less), such as the home, the amount of teaching and the motivation of the student.

Models after Walberg

After the publication of the Walberg educational productivity model, other authors (Fraser, Walberg, Welch and Hattie) in 1987 tried to determine the influence and weight of the different components of the model on the final performance of the student.

Thus originates Hattie’s model of school learning, which includes as some of the determining variables for performance: social factors, school, teacher and teaching. In turn, the model breaks down these variables into more specific components.

Bibliographic references:

  • Walberg, HJ A psychological theory of educational productivity. (1981). In: EH. Farley & N. Gordon (Eds.), Psychology and education: the state of the union. Berkeley, Calif.:McCutchan, 4, 81-108.
  • López, E. (2009). Evaluation of the effect of critical variables on the learning of students. Studies on Education, 16, 55-78.
  • Martí, CP (2012). Analysis of the factors that influence the academic performance of financial accounting students through binary choice models. RBGN – Brazilian Business Management Magazine, 14 (45), 379-399.

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