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Abstract

Students are constantly bombarded with messages about academic success and the importance of getting good grades. However, definitions of academic success are more complex than a letter grade. Many indicators to define academic success extend primarily from students’ perspectives and ignore how teachers’ definitions of success. This is an oversight as teachers’ perspectives on academic success shape their students’ perspectives on academic success for years to come, and thus represent an important voice to be included in the messaging around academic success. Thus, in this study we were interested in pre-service and in-service teachers’ definitions of academic success, and how they converge or diverge with indicators outlined in current research. We found that teachers have multiple perspectives on academic success, highlighting the complexity of this construct. Moreover, many of their definitions converged with researchers; however, teachers’ definitions were more varied and diverse. Our findings highlight the multidimensional nature of academic success. In closing, we identify various implications for schools and provide suggestions for future research and practice.

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