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Academic Achievement

  1. Dale H. Schunk

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0006

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Schunk, D. H. 2010. Academic Achievement. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Academic achievement has been an important societal topic for many years. In the years following World War II, schools educated increasing numbers of students. To optimize achievement, teachers geared their lessons to students' ability levels. The advent of the space age further elevated the importance of achievement, especially in mathematics and science. In the 1960s there was greater emphasis on disadvantaged children and on making school more relevant and less threatening. But declining achievement by the 1970s produced higher standards and greater accountability. The publication of A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983) led educators to improve teaching quality, curriculum requirements, and achievement standards.