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Teacher Performance Expectations

For example, Rist (1970) found that poor and minority students were being placed into "slow learner" groups within the first few days of Kindergarten. Obviously, these children were not given a chance to prove their academic capabilities before being labeled as incompetent. Dusek & Joseph (1983) also found that teachers expect poor and minority students to fail in their academic efforts. Chunn (1988) has pointed out that the dialect of young black students often causes teachers to form their negative expectations. Because these students speak "black English" rather than "standard English," it is assumed that they will not be capable of getting ahead in school (p. 97). A study conducted by Demeis & Turner has given support to this claim. In their survey of the attitudes of white teachers, it was found that "students who spoke 'black English' were rated as having less academic ability than students who spoke standard English" (Chunn, 1988, p. 97).

The expectations that teachers have about their students generally become "self-fulfilling prophecies." In other words, if a teacher expects a certain student to fail in school, such failure usually comes to pass. Expectations cause teachers to behave and interact with their students in certain ways. Such interactions result in a "classroom climate" which either encourages or discourages the students in their achievement efforts. There is evidence that "teachers adapt their behaviour toward students based on their expectations of student performance" and that "students modify their behaviour to make it consistent with teacher predictions" (Hallinan, 1988, p. 203). Teachers treat particular students in a certain way because of their expectations. In turn, "this consistent pressure eventually causes the student to become more like what he or she is expected to be" (Chunn, 1988, p. 95). Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968) conducted a landmark study in which they determined that teacher e...

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Teacher Performance Expectations. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:19, August 17, 2017, from
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