Do Expectations Affect Student Learning

Topics: Education, Expected value, Pygmalion effect Pages: 4 (1235 words) Published: August 5, 2013
Do Expectations Affect Student Achievement?
Tashina Linder
Cape Fear Community College

This paper provides an overview of the effects of expectations on student achievement. It begins with a brief introduction covering Jacobson and Rosenthal’s Pygmalion Effect. Then, it introduces expectations from three sources – teachers, parents, and students. The paper discusses how high or low expectations from teachers affect student learning, noting the differences in outcomes for each. Next, it provides statistics based on high and low expectations from parents and the effects on student achievement. Finally, it describes the effects of students’ expectations of themselves. This paper provides evidence that expectations have a profound impact on student achievement.

Do Expectations Affect Student Achievement?
In 1968, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson published “Pygmalion in the Classroom.” In this study, teachers were given false information about the learning potential of certain students in grades one through six in an elementary school. The teachers were told that these students had been tested and found to be on the brink of a period of rapid intellectual growth. However, in reality, the students had been selected at random. At the end of the experimental period, some of the targeted studentsexhibited performance on IQ tests which was superior to the scores of other students of similar ability and superior to what would have been expected of the target students with no intervention.This study led to what is now known as the Pygmalion Effect, which refers to the concept that a person will achieve or perform as he is expected to perform. A person expected to perform well will achieve or exceed this expectation, according to the Pygmalion effect, but a person expected to underachieve or perform poorly will also fulfill this expectation. Expectations have a profound impact on student achievement. Not only expectations from teachers, but...

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Cotton, Kathleen. (1989). Education Northwest. In Expectations and Student Outcomes.
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