The Effects Of Teacher Expectations On Children

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All teachers have expectations of the children within their class, and these notions of what children can achieve on a daily and long-term basis, can have both direct and indirect effects on the children. Additionally, the term ‘teacher expectations’, or lack of, has been known to inspire honourable resentment for teachers’ purported role in creating educational inequalities (Rubie-Davies, 2015 & 2018). Dweck (2015) reveals that, all too often, when teachers have a fixed-mind set about certain groups of children and decide they are not ‘capable’ of challenge because their intelligence is fixed, steps are rarely taken to help them develop their fullest potential. This echoes my mentoring class teacher’s comments regarding our low-ability group not being capable of understanding remainders in division. Teacher expectations can have profound effects upon children and their academic achievement, and there is a wealth of literature and research available to substantiate this belief.

Teacher expectations research began back in the 1960s with the influential work of Rosenthal and Jacobson in 1968 (2003). They instructed some teachers, after carrying out a test with their classes (which they never actually carried out), that some of their students would be academic ‘bloomers’, make substantial progress over the year of the experiment, and achieve to high standards; although in reality, these students were randomly selected. When Rosenthal and Jacobson returned, it was

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