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Pygmalion Effect “self-fulfilling prophesy” Jessica Traylor December 2008

What you perceive is what you see. What you believe is what you get.

Notable Quotes “A fundamental question for a student is ‘Does my teacher like me?’ Given a rigorous, aligned curriculum, the answer to that simple question is our best predictor of student achievement” (Terry) “A strong relationship with a caring adult enables at-risk youth to make life-altering changes.” (Werner and Smith) “Rules with out relationship is a prison. Relationship with out rules is a zoo.” (unknown)

The Research Why I do not like to give IQ scores… First, all students were given an IQ test and their scores were recorded. Next, 20 percent of the students were randomly selected to be the experimental group and their teachers were informed that these children indicated an “unusual potential for intellectual growth” and that they were expected to “bloom” in academic performance throughout the year. At the end of the year, the students were administered the IQ test again and the results indicated a strong positive correlation between the teacher’s expectations and the student’s scores. For example, the students that the teachers believed were advanced intellectually, had significantly higher increases in scores at the end of the year than the rest of the students did. These results indicate that teacher expectations have a strong influence on the academic achievement of the student. It may be possible that teachers’ expected more from the students that researchers labeled as having a potential to grow intellectually, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy for the students. (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968)

Aren’t some expectations appropriate? Much of the literature on teacher expectations calls attention to the fact that students do in fact have different ability levels and require different instructional approaches, materials, and rates. Differentiated instruction is appropriate. Rather, the focus is on the problems created when differential treatment either creates or sustains differences in student performance which would probably not exist if students were treated more equitably. The majority of teachers both form initial expectations on the basis of viable information and are able to adjust their expectations and instructional approaches as changes in students' performance occur.

Some times good teachers‌ (1) have low expectations for student achievement based on factors such as race, gender, or socioeconomic status, which have nothing to do with learning potential; (2) form initial expectations based on appropriate data, but then hold to these expectations so rigidly that changes in student skill or motivation levels are not noted or addressed.


Have you ever‌? Waited less time for low-expectation students to answer during class than is given to high-expectation students Given low-expectation students answers or called on someone else rather than trying to improve their responses by giving clues or repeating or rephrasing questions, as you do with high-expectation students Criticized low-expectation students for failure more often and more severely than high-expectation students and praised them less frequently for success Failed to give feedback to the public responses of low-expectation students Paid less attention to low-expectation students than high-expectation students, including calling on low-expectation students less often during class Conducted differential administration or grading of tests or assignments, in which high-expectation students--but not low-expectation students--are given the benefit of the doubt in borderline cases Conducted less friendly and responsive interactions with low-expectation students than high-expectation students, including less smiling, positive head nodding, forward leaning, eye contact, etc. Given briefer and less informative feedback to the questions of lowexpectation students than those of high-expectation students Asked high-expectation students more stimulating, higher cognitive questions than low-expectation students Made less frequent use of effective but time-consuming instructional methods with low-expectation students than with high-expectation students, especially when time is limited.

Think-Pair-Share Think: “Have you intentionally or unintentionally treated students different based on your expectations of them?� Pair up with someone and discuss your answer. Share your thoughts with the group.

Student Health Survey II - 2007 100 90 80 70 60 50 40

6th 8th 10th 12th

30 20 10 0

high standards

respect from teachers

good behavior recognized

adult at school to talk to

Think-Pair-Share Think: “What do you think about this data? Does any of it surprise you?” Pair up with someone and discuss your answer. Share your thoughts with the group.

What Do Our Students Say? Results from the Student Perception Survey given in October 2007 Does your teacher expect you to make good grades? Does your teacher expect you to really think? Does your teacher respect you? Which does your teacher tell you more‌ you did something right or you did something wrong? Is your teacher fair? Do you respect your teacher?

Student Perception Survey Results School Wide Trends More than 90% of students reported that their teacher expects them to make good grades More than 90% of students reported that their teacher expects them to really think More than 90% of students reported that they respect their teacher More than 85% of students reported that their teacher respects them More than 85% of students reported that their teacher is fair There were no consistent race/sex differences

Concerning Results… Approximately 2/3 of students reported that their teacher tells them they did something wrong more often than they did something right 6th grade non-white male students reported generally lower scores across several questions; however, these scores are not alarmingly low… just something to think about 7th grade male students reported generally lower scores across several questions; however, these scores are not alarmingly low…just something to think about 8th grade mixed or Hispanic students reported generally lower scores across several questions; however, these scores are not alarmingly low… just something to think about

Back to Basics Student-Teacher Relationship Listen to your students Be honest with them: verbal/nonverbal/actions Make sure they know you care about them

High Expectations Become aware of unconscious biases Expect all students to learn Call on all students equally Give timely, constructive feedback Communicate high expectations to parents

Think-Pair-Share Think: “How is my relationship with my students? Do I listen? Am I honest? Do they know that I care?” Pair up with someone and discuss your answer. Share your thoughts with the group.

What are you willing to try? Be persistent and sincere when offering to help students. Use a sociometric-type analysis to determine your students’ social status. Students are identified as one of four types: popular, rejected, controversial, and neglected. Adjust your classroom management and group interactions based on this information. Provide students with assignment choices to encourage individual ownership and increase motivation. Give timely, specific, positive feedback on student assignments. Ask students to give you feedback on a particular lesson or the classroom in general. They could be asked to write 3 things they liked and 3 things they would like to change. Learn about the characteristics of children from poverty. Apply this knowledge to your interactions with children and their parents. Make class work appropriately challenging. Build in challenges and successes.

What are you willing to try? Greet individual students daily. “I noticed that‌â€? technique: notice something specific, make a nonjudgmental comment daily for a week, then ask the student to do something for you. Give 4 positive comments for every reprimand or negative feedback. Survey your students to find out their interests, needs, future goals, fears, wishes, etc. Then read the surveys and use the information to make academic content relevant to the students. Survey your students to understand their learning style. Use this information when deciding how to teach new information. Relate classroom instruction to real life examples, current events, or personal experiences to make it relevant. Make sure students know you expect them to succeed. Use sincere encouraging statements.

Think-Pair-Share Think: “Which of these ideas am I willing to try during the next week?” Pair up with someone and discuss your answer. Share your thoughts with the group.

Questions to Ask Yourself How am I communicating my expectations to my students? Are my expectations different for my "high", "average", and "low" achievers? Does the ethnic, racial, or cultural background of my students affect my expectations for them? How do I know? During class, do I call on students of all abilities equally? Am I making an attempt to get to know all my students on a personal level?

Helpful Books Teaching with Love and Logic by Jim Fay A Framework For Understanding Children From Poverty by Ruby Payne

References Spader, K. A. , (2006, August 11) Poster 19. The Effects of Teacher Expectations on Student Achievement. [Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association], Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Retrieved from Cotton, K., (1998) Expectations and Student Outcomes. Retrieved from Fay, J., & Funk, D. (1995). Teaching with love & logic: Taking control of the classroom. Golden, CO: Love and Logic Press. Payne, R. K. (2005). A framework for understanding poverty. Highlands, Tex: Aha! Process.

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Self-fulfilling Prophesy  

This presentation summarizes student perception survey results from a middle school and the impact of teacher expectations of student achiev...

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