College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders
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College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders
Supporting school leaders in helping all students become college and career-ready and to succeed in post-secondary education and training
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Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform : Part 2 NPR

"It's really tough for anybody to police their own beliefs." Robert Pianta, University of Virginia


Teachers' expectations about their students' abilities affect classroom interactions in myriad ways that can impact student performance. 


How do we get teachers to have the right expectations? Is it possible to change bad expectations?


Can teacher beliefs be changed by giving them new sets of teaching behaviors?


Pianta thinks that to change beliefs, the best thing to do is change behaviors.

  • "For the most part, we've tried to convince them that the beliefs they have are wrong," he says. "And we've done most of that convincing using information."
  • But Pianta has a different idea of how to go about changing teachers' expectations. He says it's not effective to try to change their thoughts; the key is to train teachers in an entirely new set of behaviors.


"If you want to change a mind, simply talking to it might not be enough."




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How to Change Your Expectations for Students

How to Change Your Expectations for Students | College and Career-Ready Standards for School Leaders | Scoop.it

A recent study out of the University of Illinois suggesting that teachers may need more training on managing their emotions in order to respond effectively to students. That study also found that teachers who had developed more "accepting beliefs" regarding their students' emotional needs tended to be better equipped to handle disciplinary issues.





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Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform : Part 1 NPR

Teachers' expectations about their students' abilities affect classroom interactions in myriad ways that can impact student performance. Students expected to succeed, for example, get more time to answer questions and more specific feedback.


The first psychologist to systematically study this was a Harvard professor named Robert Rosenthal, who in 1964 did a wonderful experiment at an elementary school south of San Francisco.

  • Rosenthal discovered that the teachers' expectations of these kids really did affect the students. "If teachers had been led to expect greater gains in IQ, then increasingly, those kids gained more IQ," he says.
  • Rosenthat found that expectations affect teachers' moment-to-moment interactions with the children they teach in a thousand almost invisible ways including:
  1. Teachers give the students that they expect to succeed more time to answer questions
  2. more specific feedback
  3. more approval
  4. They consistently touch, nod and smile at those kids more.


"It's not magic, it's not mental telepathy," Rosenthal says. "It's very likely these thousands of different ways of treating people in small ways every day."

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Xiaoxia Wang's curator insight, November 18, 2013 5:59 PM

This is the same rationale as parents' expectation towards their children. When teachers show right expectation, students feel belonged, believed, self-motivated, and connected. These kind of feeling make their happiness in learning.