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Teacher Expectancy Effects

General expectations include teachers' beliefs about:


changeability versus the rigidity of students' abilities, students' potential to benefit from instruction, appropriate difficulty of material for the class, and whether the class should be taught as a group or individually

The Pygmalion Effect


Self-fulfilling prophecy Teacher expectancy effect
Professor Henry Higgins instructs Liza Doolittle

Teacher expectancy effect:


Teacher expects a specific behavior from specific student Because of these expectations, teacher behaves differently toward student This treatment tells student what behavior teacher expects from them If the treatment is consistent, it will shape the students behavior over time Students behavior will conform more and more closely to teachers expectation of them

Robert Rosenthal & Lenore Jacobson


Pygmalion in the classroom: Teachers expectation and students intellectual development (1968)

Robert Merton (1948)


Self-fulfilling prophecy:
Belief Prophecy Prophecy fulfilled

Pygmalion study:
"the change in the teachers' expectations regarding the intellectual performance of these allegedly 'special' children had led to an actual change in the intellectual performance of these randomly selected children"