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

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

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Walberg’s educational productivity model

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

It uses various institutional, academic, demographic and/or economic factors as inputs, 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 core 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 student’s final performance. If the student has favorable skills and an adequate and stimulating environment, learning can be positive in terms of attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge.

1. Student Fitness

Student aptitude is one of the central factors of the model. This attitude is formed by 3 basic components, which are:

1.1. The ability or “quantity” of fitness

It includes cognition and knowledge. 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 is defined by personality tests; It would be the student’s willingness to persevere intensely in learning tasks.

1.3. Development level

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

On the other hand, within the student’s variables, the cognitive ones will be very relevant for the previous performance. In this line, Walberg highlights the student’s Intellectual Coefficient (IQ) as a variable very related to performance.

2. An environment where you learn

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

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

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3. Learning

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

Learning will be greater in a cooperative environment and aimed at achieving goals. Also, an environment that provides stimulation and a teacher with good teaching techniques will be variables that will boost learning.

4. Teaching

This will vary in terms of quantity and quality (the greater the quantity and quality, the more the student’s performance is more likely).

The amount is the time students are engaged in learning, and the 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 educational productivity model, in terms of importance, the most important element will be the class climate (within the environment), followed by the student’s ability and the quality of teaching.

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

Models after Walberg

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

This is how Hattie’s model of school learning originates, which includes some of the determining variables for performance: social factors, school, teacher and teaching. In turn, these variables are broken down into more specific components in the model.