Why Learners Not Teachers Are Responsible for Academic Success

Topic: Academic Performance
Words: 1108 Pages: 4


Teachers and students are involved in the educational process, trying to find a compromise and a shared vision of the learning process. There is a question that is not fully answered because of the specifics of educational provision. It concerns how motivation to learn arises and who creates it for students. Teachers are the guiding constants-they guide, point, and direct students on the path to knowledge. However, only the learners are responsible for their academic performance because, whatever teachers are, they can only share knowledge but not make it memorable.


Motivating children and adolescents to learn, organizing students, and shaping the desire for knowledge is a significant issue of methodologies and approaches in modern pedagogy. Education is a conduit to a better life in which the person’s qualifications and abilities in the field are unique. While in the past, the motivation to learn only arose to enter a better world, nowadays, motivation does not play a role. Interest in education is not as crucial because schooling is compulsory. In colleges and universities, however, the responsibility between students and teachers is more clearly divided. A teacher can provide motivation and show the merits of a subject. Nevertheless, students may fail to learn discipline because they are not self-motivated, do not want to know, and refuse to participate in active activities. It should be understood that a great responsibility for their successful education lies with the students because only they can take action to memorize the material and organize it in their memory.

First and foremost, it is worth understanding how teachers view the problem of motivation and the prevalence of poor performance among students. Teachers, in general, are anxious about poor performance and feel personally responsible. However, a study by Daniels et al. (2018) found that personal responsibility can arise because students partially shift blame to the teacher, even though they are aware of their failings. Shifting blame leads to a false sense of responsibility but does not increase instructor participation in student activities. Study 2 shows that faculty blame is uneven and shaky: an empirical study found that students rely on themselves more than on communication and contact with peers and instructors. Moreover, the students surveyed understand that their responsibilities take precedence over anyone else’s. The teacher’s role is only to provide students with advice on developing motivation and commitment, but the teacher’s work cannot guarantee academic success alone.

Understanding students’ responsibility is probably born out of an awareness of their unique qualities and abilities that can influence outcomes. In an empirical study, Steinicki et al. (2015) found that students tended to believe that future orientation and executive functioning were categories of success. Over 6,000 students were surveyed; and found that hard work and dedication were factors in achieving success 47.4% of the time (Steinicki et al., 2015). In addition, students also identified positive attitudes (friendliness, kindness), personal characteristics (good memory, intelligence), and academic skills (detail-oriented). Such data indicated that students were aware of their responsibility to do well and relied on their abilities more than on the instructor’s ability to motivate them.

Studies of the classroom environment should be evaluated in terms of the rationality of the teaching methods used by the instructor. Grasby et al. (2020) found that the environment will influence success if there is a biological background. The study used twin pairs to confirm this theory. Only 30% of environmental factors (including school influence and classroom atmosphere) affect NAPLAN scores (Grasby et al., 2020). In addition, teacher quality appears to be an even smaller fraction, and individual differences in teacher experience do not allow conclusions to be drawn about the generalized influence of the teacher on learning outcomes.

The teacher’s professionalism, empathy, and understanding of students play a role in creating communication that affects the development of student’s personal qualities. Tomaszewski et al. (2022) also confirm that the relationship between academic success and teacher tactics is mediated. Instead, the teacher spends time teaching essential skills and encouraging positive behaviour, fulfilling a direct educational responsibility. Consequently, ascribing full responsibility for academic success from the student to the teacher will deteriorate overall classroom communication due to an inability to communicate universal values.


Not everyone agrees that the instructor is not a prerequisite for students’ academic success. It is important to note that this argument relates specifically to the nature of shifting responsibility and finding fault with the failures that haunt the student (Daniels et al., 2018). The argument is built on the premise that the teacher’s job is to teach the student; therefore, if he or she cannot get the student to memorize the material, then they are a lousy teacher. In addition, this claim is usually reinforced by motivation issues that are part of the teaching responsibility. Proponents of this position believe that the teacher’s role is to give a person knowledge and then make them memorize it through some special strategies. However, examining this argument deeper, one realizes that no such strategies exist.

The practices a teacher uses to memorize are strictly individual: not everyone is suited to the principle of homonyms or note-taking techniques. Moreover, the genetic determinants of learning abilities are a factor that the teacher cannot influence. His teaching and cooperative methods do not always lead to positive results, not because they are wrong, but because each student is an individual. This individualism develops in face-to-face interactions in which the teacher devotes all his time to only one person. In this case, the teacher’s influence on the overall educational outcomes of the student can be judged. However, in other cases, it shifts the focus away from the student’s personal responsibility. Based on this, the argument that only the teacher can make the student memorize some material through educational practices is relatively weak because it does not consider all the teaching activity’s subtleties.


Thus, when it comes to determining responsibility for demonstrated achievement and academic success, attention must be paid to the personal responsibility of the learner. The teacher can create motivation, but the burden of building skills and memorization techniques is on the student. First, teachers strive to maintain motivation, and the pursuit of learning is more important than academic success. Second, students can shift blame in some cases but generally understand that their qualities dominate the influences of their environment. Third, genetic determinants of “success” have been established that are not influenced by the instructor. Finally, one cannot blindly trust the argument that the instructor must make the student study and that teachers alone are responsible for the outcome. No small part of the responsibility lies with the learner, and the instructor’s role is to guide.


Ayish, N., & Deveci, T. (2019). Student perceptions of responsibility for their own learning and for supporting peers’ learning in a project-based learning environment. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 31(2), 224-237. Web.

Daniels, L. D., Poth, C., & Goegan, L. D. (2018). Enhancing our understanding of teachers’ personal responsibility for student motivation: A mixed methods study. Frontiers in Education. 

Grasby, K. L., Little, C. W., Byrne, B., Coventry, W. L., Olson, R. K., Larsen, S., & Samuelsson, S. (2020). Estimating classroom-level influences on literacy and numeracy: A twin study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(6), 1154–1166.

Steinicki, A. M., Nordstokke, D. W., & Saklofske, D. H. (2015). Who is the successful university student? An analysis of personal resources. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 45(2), 214-228. Web.

Tomaszewski, W., Xiang, N., Huang, Y., Western, M., McCourt, B., & McCarthy, I. (2022). The impact of effective teaching practices on academic achievement when mediated by student engagement: Evidence from Australian high schools. Education Science, 12(358).

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