ERIC Number: EJ1067172
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
"Smart Students Get Perfect Scores in Tests without Studying Much": Why Is an Effortless Achiever Identity Attractive, and for Whom Is It Possible?
Jackson, Carolyn; Nyström, Anne-Sofie
Research Papers in Education, v30 n4 p393-410 2015
Discourses about the value of effort and hard work are prevalent and powerful in many western societies and educational contexts. Yet, paradoxically, in these same contexts effortless achievement is often lauded, and in certain discourses is heralded as the pinnacle of success and a sign of genius. In this paper we interrogate discourses about effort and especially "effortlessness" in Swedish and English educational contexts. Informed, in particular, by interview data generated in upper secondary schools in Sweden and secondary schools in England, we address the questions: why is effortless achievement attractive, and for whom is it possible to be discursively positioned as an effortless achiever? We argue that the subject position of "effortless achiever" is not available to all categories of students equally, and for some it would be almost impossible to attain; the intersections of gender, social class, ethnicity and institutional setting are influential. We end by considering the problematic implications of effortless achievement discourses.
Descriptors: Scores, Interviews, Secondary Schools, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Differences, Foreign Countries, Gender Differences, Social Class, Academic Achievement, Study Habits, Intelligence, Questionnaires, Grade 9, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Secondary School Students, Secondary School Teachers, Ethnic Groups, Racial Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden; United Kingdom (England)