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Spring 2013

RESEARCH BRIEF Implications of  Teacher  Expectation   in  Educational  Settings Kimberley Steele

University of North Carolina at Charlotte "The African  American  children,  as  a  rule,   come  from  the  homes  of  tenants...  who  have   to  migrate  annually  from  planta;on  to   planta;on...  The  children  from  the  homes  of   white  planters  and  merchants  live   permanently  in  the  midst  of  calcula;ons,   family  budgets,  and  the  like,  which  enable   them  some;mes  to  learn  more  by  contact   than  the  African  American  can  acquire  in   school.  Instead  of  teaching  such  African   American  children  less  arithme4c,  they  should   be  taught  much  more  of  it  than  the  white   children...."    Carter  G.  Woodson

Introduc;on

Research on teacher expectations in education began with Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson in 1968. Rosenthal and Jacobson believed that when teachers measured the ability of students and determined them to be able learners, the teachers interacted with the students in ways which promoted their academic development (Rubie-Davies, 2010). Termed the Pygmalion Effect, or the selffulfilling prophecy, researchers now believe that teacher expectations can limit opportunities in the classroom, affect academic achievement, and upset student motivation (Weinstein, Marshall, Sharp, & Botkin, 1987). Building on Rosenthal and Jacobson’s research on teacher interactions, current studies in mathematics education focus on the attainment of mathematical knowledge, effective acquisition of mathematical skills by students, and how teacher attitudes and relationships with students influence the students’ mathematics achievement levels in elementary and middle school (Van der Burgh, Denessen, Honstra, Vocten, & Holland, 2010). Researchers consider effective opportunities to learn mathematics to include the effect of reforms on instructional practices, the impact of student perceptions and teacher expectations, and the role of student motivation (Woolley, Strutchens, Gilbert, & Martin, 2010). Teacher expectations can be measured by implicit measures developed by psychologists and explicit selfreports (Van der Bergh et al, 2010). Researchers use these measures to build an argument that teachers exhibiting differing expectations have distinguishing characteristics (Rubie-Davies, 2010). Teacher expectations

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can be influenced by traits such as gender, ethnicity, social class, stereotype, diagnostic label, physical attributes, age, or personality (Rubie-Davies, Hattie, & Hamilton, 2006). These characteristics of high and low teacher expectations play a central role in cognitive engagement, challenge student achievement and affect student sense of self-worth (Archembault, Janosz, & Chouinard, 2012).

Research Brophy and Good (1974), observed four first grade classrooms to determine discrepancies in teacher behavior and reported that teachers had high praise and expectations of students with high achievement but praised incorrect answers and waited less time for poor students to respond. Additional research of teachers in grades one, three and five, conducted by Weinstein et al, (1987) determined how different environmental factors related to teacher expectations – feedback, instructional practices, and classroom conditions – can affect student achievement. Their findings revealed that younger children reported more frequent instances of high expectations, opportunities, and choice than older children. Supplementary information from Weinstein et al, (1987) study revealed that low achieving students received more negative feedback and more skill and drill exercises than higher achieving students in mathematics. Archembault et al. (2012) also found similar findings in their study to explore teacher expectations. They discovered that teacher interactions with low socioeconomic students differed compared to those of higher students. Teachers in this study tended to be less satisfied with lower performing student work, maintaining a negative attitude toward them therefore low socioeconomic students were less likely to receive the support they needed to be successful in mathematics. It has been documented that African American students have not scored as high on national assessments in mathematics as compared to white students (Woolley et al, 2010). Historically, long term data trends reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports that there has been a consistent and significant gap between White students and all students of color in the United

States (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2011). Individual states indicate that there is an achievement gap ranging from 14 points in Hawaii and West Virginia to 54 points in the District of Columbia. African American and other students of color still lag behind their white counterparts - on average 25 points lower on the NAEP mathematics assessment, as shown in Figures 1 and 2 (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2011). With the everpresent achievement gap between White students and students of color, implications for educators become more important.

Implica;ons for  Educators Simply stating that there is a need for educators to have higher expectations for their students oversimplifies the problem. Knowing more about the environment teachers create in their classrooms can improve teacher expectations and demands on student achievement. Teachers can create a set of high standards for students by presenting a warm and supportive environment, which can benefit all students, not just the high or the low achievers.

Create an environment where students feel in control of their learning through positive and successful experiences documented through authentic assessment practices coupled with culturally relevant practices can increase motivation and student outcomes. To ensure high expectations for all students, create culturally relevant schools in urban areas and communicate the meaning of high expectations for ALL students to all stakeholders involved in a child’s education. Allow educators time to develop appropriate pacing for culturally relevant learning units which ensures student success and administer questionnaires for students, parents and teachers to uncover hidden biases and help teachers acquire knowledge of the histories and cultures of different groups would assist in developing appropriate expectations for students.


RESEARCH BREF Spring 2013

informal and try to reach all learning types. Urban students not performing well on assessments may need more than one attempt to be successful. Thus, students not performing at 80% proficiency should be tutored by certified personnel and administered the common assessment a second time, to ensure success. Grade level teams can develop a portfolio of assessments in addition to common formative assessments and state exams. This team of teachers and students meet to create and assess common portfolio assessment exemplars for teachers to administer.

RESEARCH BREF Spring 2013 TEACHER EXPECTATIONS cont.

Focus on strengthening the system for teacher support. Offer trainings that are devoted to examining best practices for communicating teacher expectations and identifying patterns of expectation – whether high or low. Develop common formative assessments, administered by the regular classroom teachers periodically based on classroom instruction practices to closely monitor student achievement. Common assessments reflect the material the students’ are exposed to and can be formal or

Common assessments, portfolio assessments and state assessment should be aligned to the Common Core State Standards in all subjects. State exams should be developed and administered three times per year, as opposed to a summative approach, to assess student growth. Common assessments should be modeled after the state assessment practices and be given at least bi-monthly but could be administered more often as needed.

The more information educators have concerning a child can influence their expectations and the more positive experiences a child has in school affects learner outcomes and teacher expectations.

Figure 1:  Average  scale  scores  for  mathema,cs,  grade  4  by  race/ethnicity  used  to  report  trends,  school-­‐reported  [SDRACE],  year  and  jurisdic,on:  2011   American Indian/Alaska White Black Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander Native Two or more races Average Standard Average Standard Average Standard Average Standard Average Standard Average Standard Error scale score Error scale score Error scale score Error scale score Error scale score Error Year Jurisdiction scale score 2011 National

249

(0.2)

224

(0.4)

229

(0.3)

256

(1.0)

225

(0.9)

245

(0.6)

National public

249

(0.2)

224

(0.4)

229

(0.3)

256

(1.1)

227

(0.9)

244

(0.7)

National private Large city

251 251

(0.8) (0.8)

226 222

(2.4) (0.5)

235 228

(1.6) (0.6)

257 249

(2.3) (2.0)

‡ 227

(†) (5.2)

256 245

(2.5) (1.7)

Figure 2:  Average  scale  scores  for  mathema,cs,  grade  8  by  race/ethnicity  used  to  report  trends,  school-­‐reported  [SDRACE],  year  and  jurisdic,on:  2011   Asian/Pacific American Indian/Alaska White Black Hispanic Islander Native Two or more races Standard Average Standard Average Standard Average Standard Average Standard Average Standard Average scale score Error scale score Error scale score Error scale score Error scale score Error scale score Error Year Jurisdiction 2011

National

293

(0.2)

262

(0.5)

270

(0.5)

303

(1.0)

265

(0.9)

288

(1.3)

National public

293

(0.2)

262

(0.5)

269

(0.5)

302

(1.0)

266

(1.0)

286

(1.3)

National private

301

(0.8)

271

(2.6)

283

(1.7)

307

(2.8)

(†)

304

(3.5)

Large city

295

(1.1)

261

(0.9)

267

(1.0)

296

(2.3)

268

(4.6)

291

(2.1)

References Archambault, I., Janosz, M., & Chouinard, R. (2012). Teacher Beliefs as Predictors of Adolescents' Cognitive Engagement and Achievement in Mathematics. Journal Of Educational Research, 105(5 ), 319-328. Brophy, J. E., & Good, T. L. (1974). Teacher-student relationships: causes and consequences [by] Jere E. Brophy [and] Thomas L. Good. New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston [1974]. National Center for Educational Statistics. (2011). NAEP Assessment Results in Mathematics [Data File]. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/ Rubie-Davies, C., Hattie, J., & Hamilton, R. (2006). Expecting the Best for Students: Teacher Expectations and Academic Outcomes. British Journal Of Educational Psychology, 76(3), 429-444. doi: 10.1348/000709905X53589 Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2010). Teacher Expectations and Perceptions of Student Attributes: Is There a Relationship?. British Journal Of Educational Psychology, 80(1), 121-135. Van den Bergh, L., Denessen, E., Hornstra, L., Voeten, M., & Holland, R. W. (2010). The Implicit Prejudiced Attitudes of Teachers: Relations to Teacher Expectations and the Ethnic Achievement Gap. American Educational Research Journal, (2), 497. doi:10.2307/40645448 Weinstein, R. S., Marshall, H. H., Sharp, L., & Botkin, M. (1987). Pygmalion and the Student: Age and Classroom Differences in Children's Awareness of Teacher Expectations. Child Development, 58(4), 1079-1093. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.ep8590052 Woodson, C., Scott, D., & Franklin, V. P. (2005). The Mis-education of the Negro : With a foreword by V.P. Franklin / Carter Godwin Woodson ; edited by Daryl Michael Scott. United States: ASALH Press : A program of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, c2005 [c1933]. Woolley, M. E., Strutchens, M. E., Gilbert, M. C., & Martin, W. (2010). Mathematics Success of Black Middle School Students: Direct and Indirect Effects of Teacher Expectations and Reform Practices. Negro Educational Review, 61(1-4), 41-59 Suggested Cita,on:  Steele,  K.  (2013).    Implica,ons  of  Teacher  Expecta,on  in  Educa,onal  SeDngs.    (EDCI  Research  Brief,  April  2013)    Urban  Educa,on  Collabora,ve.  University  of  North  Carolina  at   CharloNe:  CharloNe,  NC.   Submission  Guidelines:  The  Urban  Educa.on  Research  and  Policy  Collabora.ve  accepts  manuscripts  for  review  and  publica.on  considera.on  for  the  Research  Brief  series.  Submi?ed  manuscripts  should  not   exceed  1,000  words  and  must  conform  to  the  guidelines  outlined  in  the  6th  Edi.on  of  the  Publica0on  Manual  of  the  American  Psychological  Associa0on.  All  manuscripts  will  undergo  a  blind  review  and   refereed  process.  The  review  process  takes  approximately  3-­‐4  weeks.  Manuscripts  can  be  submi?ed  for  review  via  e-­‐mail  to  Dr.  Chance  Lewis  (chance.lewis@uncc.edu). Correspondence  regarding  this  report  may  be  sent  via  e-­‐mail  to:    kssteel1@uncc.edu

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Kimberley Steele  
Kimberley Steele  

Kimberley Steele

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