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Research and Impact

AVID’s educational philosophy is informed and validated by continuous research.

On the ‘Research and Impact’ page you will find an overview with links to independent and commissioned research papers and reports that have investigated the AVID program and its effectiveness. You will also be able to engage evidence from students, teachers and principals about their experiences with AVID.


AVID was recognised internationally for its effectiveness in the OECD report, Excellence and Quality in Education (p. 141) as a case study of excellence in combining both quality and equity in improving students’ education outcomes.

In Australia, disadvantage (specifically, a student’s socio-economic background) is still the strongest predictor of academic success (Educational opportunity in Australia 2015: Who succeeds and who misses out).

Research and experience have shown that while AVID equips students with the skills and mindset to address this gap, it also provides a platform for any student to challenge themselves to greater heights.


AVID addresses underachievement in any student journey. It works not only for students who struggle in school but also for high achievers (who might face different challenges) and everyone in between.

The Grattan report, Engaging students: creating classrooms that improve learning, found that as many as 40 percent of students in Australian schools are unproductive and disengaged, taught by teachers who feel ill-prepared and supported for the challenges they face in the classroom. With nearly 40 years of experience and success, the AVID program provides a time-tested template to address these issues.


The effectiveness of the AVID program’s strategies and underlying philosophy has been researched and evaluated over several decades. The AVID approach is informed by research including:

  • Carol Dweck’s ‘Growth Mindset’ (the ability to learn is not fixed)
  • Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy to classify thinking according to six cognitive levels of complexity
  • Arthur Costa’s 16 ‘Habits of Mind’ to process information and, more importantly, act on it effectively
  • Lev Vygotsky’s ‘Social Development Theory’ where teachers facilitate students’ role in their own learning
  • John Dewey’s learning through a ‘hands-on’ approach
  • Abraham Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ motivation theory
  • And many more evidence-based strategies.

What does the research say about AVID?

Director of the Morning Foundation in the USA, Tom Holman, explains the potential economic benefits and impact that AVID students will experience personally, as well as the effect on the larger community.

AVID’s value proposition: An economic perspective on AVID’s financial impact on society

Tom Holman, Access, 2009

AVID, as the ‘D’ in our name suggests, believes in nurturing determined learners capable of taking ownership of their studies and productivity. The AVID program focuses on building aspirations, confidence as well as the organizational and study habits that help students to succeed. Svinicki’s (2010) article highlights why all schools should aim to produce self-regulated learners. For those familiar with AVID, you will see multiple ideas and strategies that overlap with AVID’s approach.

Student learning: From teacher-directed to self-regulation

Marilla D. Svinicki, New Directions for Teacher Education, 2010

This paper reflects the results of a comparative study done in America between AVID and non-AVID students. It utilizes both qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate the program’s effectiveness at improving the educational outcomes of disadvantaged and underachieving cohorts in education. For new schools considering  AVID, it highlights the growing benefits and impact of continual implementation.

Advancement Via Individual Determination: Method selection in conclusions about program effectiveness

Anne C. Black, Catherine A. Little, D. Betsy McCoach, Jeanne H. Purcell, and Del Siegle, The Journal of Education Research, 2008

One of AVID’s key aims is to build student resilience to better equip them to complete their school education journey and negotiate key transition points. This study evaluates AVID’s success in fostering that resilience by focusing on current AVID students’ own perspectives on the program and how they perceive themselves as learners and any other factors that impact their academic success. The findings illustrate how AVID builds the sort of resilience associated with positive academic, social and emotional outcomes.

Listening to students: Examining underlying mechanisms that contribute to the AVID program’s effectiveness

Jasmin D. Llamas, Susana A. Lopez, and Matthew Quirk, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 2014

This article demonstrates that in order to widen the ‘participation gap’ to include underachievers and students from disadvantaged backgrounds, schools and universities need to partner to achieve this mission. It shows where certain initiatives have failed in the past and argues for an approach that does not only focus on the student but how educational institutions can equip them with the right skills. Using a framework suggested by the OECD, it maps how the AVID program incorporates these recommendations in raising the performance of disadvantaged students and under-performing schools.

Strengthening the intersections between secondary and tertiary education in Australia: Building cultural capital

Katie Hughes, Claire Brown, Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 2014

Further reading

For a more comprehensive list of the literature on AVID, please visit the following pages: