Action Research: Educational Reform

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Education 330/ Read 371 Action Research

Bluefield State College

HP

Alvin Hibbitts

In today’s society educational reform is at the forefront of parental concern. However, parents do not want to be held accountable for the actions of their children. In return, teachers are expected to take on the full responsibility of students’ successes and failures within the classroom. With this being the case teachers must develop a method to increase student performance within the classroom. I plan to conduct my research on how to maximize expectations in the classroom so student achievement is emphasized. When expectations are capitalized on I hypothesize students will take on their coursework with more effort and a higher sense of responsibility.

When initiating this research I decided to begin by looking at higher educated families versus. lower educated families because I hypothesize that higher educated families convey higher expectations to their children. According to Daniel T. Willingham, “Parents who know more about how children learn and grow talk to their children in more complex ways and more often solicit ideas from their children, and high-SES (social economic status) parents often have this knowledge and convey higher expectations.” This statement implies that even at an earlier age parents of higher SES begin to invest more into their children than lower SES families. After investing years of modeling these behaviors children are expected to act accordingly. However, families that invest lower levels of positive behavior modeling expect less of their children.

Parents who expect more out of their children fortify these behaviors using positive and negative reinforcement. For example, parents with higher expectations may require children to perform more difficult tasks before they are rewarded. This will cause the child to exert more effort to gain the wanted reward. Negative reinforcement may...
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