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Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12

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Contemporary Educational Psychology
j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s e v i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / c e d p s y c h

Pygmalion effects in the classroom: Teacher expectancy effects on
students’ math achievement
Alena Friedrich *, Barbara Flunger, Benjamin Nagengast, Kathrin Jonkmann,
Ulrich Trautwein
Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology, University of Tübingen, Europastr. 6, 72072 Tübingen, Germany



Article history:
Available online 29 October 2014
Teachers’ expectancies
Pygmalion effect
Students’ self-concept
Multilevel modeling
Math achievement


According to the Pygmalion effect, teachers’ expectancies affect students’ academic progress. Many empirical studies have supported the predictions of the Pygmalion effect, but the effect sizes have tended
to be small to moderate. Furthermore, almost all existing studies have examined teacher expectancy effects
on students’ achievement at the student level only (does a specific student improve?) rather than at the
classroom level (do classes improve when teachers have generally high expectations of their students?). The present study scrutinized the Pygmalion effect in a longitudinal study by using a large sample
in regular classrooms and by differentiating between two achievement outcomes (grades and an achievement test) and two levels of analyses (the individual and classroom levels). Furthermore, students’ selfconcept was studied as a possible mediator of the teacher expectancy effect on achievement. Data come
from a study with 73 teachers and their 1289 fifth-grade students. Multilevel regression analyses yielded
three main results. First, Pygmalion effects were found at the individual level for both achievement outcomes. Second, multilevel mediation analyses showed that teacher expectancy effects were partly mediated
by students’ self-concept. Third, teachers’ average expectancy effects at the class level were found to be
nonsignificant when students’ prior achievement was controlled.
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Teachers form expectancies of their students’ achievements.
Teachers’ expectancies are based on the knowledge they have about
their students, such as previous grades and perceptions of in-class
performance, but are also based on teachers’ prejudices or stereotypes (Good, 1987; Jussim, Eccles, & Madon, 1996; Reyna, 2000,
2008). The expectancies teachers form about their students have
been shown to impact students’ future achievement, an effect that
is often labeled the “Pygmalion” effect (Rosenthal, 2010). Pygmalion
effects have high scientific and practical relevance due to their potentially positive or negative effects on important student outcomes.
Not surprisingly, Pygmalion effects have been the subject of many
empirical studies (meta-analyses and reviews see Jussim & Harber,
2005; Rosenthal & Rubin, 1978; Tenenbaum & Ruck, 2007), which
have documented, by and large, the existence of expectancy

* Corresponding author. Fax: 07071 / 295371.
E-mail address: (A. Friedrich).
0361-476X/© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

However, despite the large number of studies, some of the key
questions concerning expectancy effects have rarely been examined. First, there have been few studies that have examined
differential effects of different achievement outcomes, namely,
between standardized achievement tests and final grades, when
studied simultaneously. Most studies concerning the effects of teachers’ expectancies on students’ achievement have reported only grades
as outcomes (e.g., Freiberger, Steinmayr, & Spinath, 2012; Marsh &
Köller, 2004; Marsh & O’Mara, 2008; Tiedemann, 2000) or only test
scores (e.g., Marsh, Parker, & Smith, 1983).
Second, some studies have found small significant effects of students’ self-concept functioning as a mediator between teachers’
expectancies and students’ achievement. However, empirical results
have not been consistent across studies and have often relied on
small sample sizes (e.g., Brattesani, Weinstein, & Marshall, 1984;
Trouilloud, Sarrazin, Martinek, & Guillet, 2002). Therefore, longitudinal studies using large data sets of both teacher and student
reports are needed to examine expectancy effects and possible mediation effects.
Third, the literature has yet to address whether expectancy effects
are constrained to the individual student level or also affect whole
classes. In his early review, Good (1987) stated that teachers’

Just a few studies have reported effects on tests and grades simultaneously (e. Marsh & O’Mara. Yet. Brophy. Smith et al. 1974). Pygmalion effects received tremendous research interest.g. 1998). & Ones. 1992). feels supported in his/her former expectancies and the self-fulfilling cycle is complete and reinforced. and studies have confirmed their predictive validity for various student outcomes (e. & Hezlett. by the end of the school year. Serafin.e. 1992) was criticized as these studies used small samples. In line with the self-fulfilling prophecy hypothesis. 2010). However. 1968. grades are central in many school systems as they are used for schooling-related decisions such as acceleration or remediation or the counseling of parents. Hezlett.. standardized tests are common in many school systems including the American school system. & Siperstein. Madon. groups of students. 1979. In psychological research.. almost all studies have been interested in effects operating at the student level (within-class) only: These studies have compared students within a class for whom the respective teachers had either high or low expectations. The 1. a multilevel design was used to disentangle student-level and class-level expectancy effects on two important achievement outcomes (school grades and a standardized achievement test). The role of different achievement outcomes Accurate evaluations of students’ achievement and progress in school are essential for students’ learning. or specific individuals. Freiberger et al.14 to 1. longitudinal field studies concerning teacher expectancy effects have thus far rarely taken into account different achievement outcomes.. 1983) or only grades (e. in the long run.. 2002). Friedrich et al. Trouilloud et al. Only a few studies have examined the expectancy effect at the between-class level (i. Kim. and being more responsive to the work (feedback) of the students for whom they hold high expectations (Rosenthal.. later research in ordinary classrooms using nonexperimental research designs found smaller but still significant effects of teachers’ expectations on students’ academic achievement. 1992. and had unknown ecological validity as they were conducted mainly as experimental studies in the laboratory setting. In particular. the classic Pygmalion effect study dates back to the 1950s. 1992. However. To conclude. interacting more often and longer (output). some researchers have found the opposite results in which teachers’ expectancies predicted students’ test scores more strongly than they predicted final grades (e. improve their academic achievement. 1995. 1997). Tiedemann. In their meta-analysis. This self-fulfilling prophecy has been called the Pygmalion effect. p. On the one hand. (1998) studied such teacher expectancy effects for groups of students and also classrooms that were formed according to students’ ability level and showed that expectancy effects could be confirmed both for individuals and in part for whole groups and classrooms. However. tests have the advantage of allowing comparisons across classes or schools as test results are assumed to be less influenced by the class as a reference standard than grades (e. 2008. So far. accounting for a maximum of 5–10% of students’ achievement (e. Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968. offering more challenging learning materials (input). that is. (b) Teachers’ beliefs about those students begin to lead to different treatment such as providing more attention and support (climate).g. Kuncel. Wenz-Gross.. In subsequent years. 2001. smaller coefficients are not surprising given that teachers’ expectancies were not pervasive and enduring per se. Wee. Furthermore. effects in naturally occurring field studies are often smaller than in strict laboratory settings with experimental manipulation. Rosenthal and Rubin (1978) summarized 345 studies about expectancy effects and found effect sizes of 0.1. most studies concerning expectancy effects on students’ achievement have relied on only test scores (e. Those changes may also affect students’ self-concept and motivation (Harris & Rosenthal. Jussim and Eccles (1992) found those results in their longitudinal study of sixth graders... & Eccles.1. Marsh & Köller. Smith et al. the methodology of these early studies (e. the “bloomers” were randomly selected and differed only in the expectations that teachers were told to have for them. Moreover. both measures were included in the present study. 2012. 1983).. (c) Students in turn recognize the teachers’ high expectancies and react to them: They may work more and harder and develop higher motivation and interest in schoolwork. It is less clear whether the achievement gains of a natural class with students who are not grouped are associated with teachers’ average evaluation of the academic potential of the class. They found significant teacher expectancy effects on students’ achievement in classes that used within-class ability grouping but not for classes that used between-grouping. 2000). 1992). ignored the clustering of data. Grades incorporate achievement assessments of several occasions in written and verbal form over a whole school year and are therefore less influenced by one-time situational events.. Kimball./Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 expectancies may concern the entire class. Teachers’ expectancies—Pygmalion in the classroom The Pygmalion effect refers to “the effects of interpersonal expectancies. there seems to be reasonable theoretical support for the effects of teachers’ expectancies on students’ achievement. the finding that what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy” (Rosenthal. Cooper. Kuncel.g.g. 1985).1. but rather flexible and open to change as soon as more information about individual student achievement was available (Brophy. (e) The teacher recognizes the positive changes in the students’ behavior.2 A. those students had gained significantly in their intellectual achievement compared to the control group. 1. 1989).g.. Nevertheless.g. As more and more researchers recommend using both tests and grades to profit from the strengths of both methods (Brennan. Jussim and Eccles examined the effect of math teachers’ expectancies on the achievement of their sixth-grade students (Jussim & Eccles. we examined students’ self-concept as a potential mediator of the expected effect of teachers’ expectancies on students’ progress. Jussim & Eccles. Marsh et al.. Indeed. Theoretically. who were examined at three measurement points. 2010. Grades and standardized achievement tests are both common indicators of student achievement. (d) This more engaged student behavior will. On the other hand. . the so-called perceptual bias hypothesis claims that teachers’ expectancies of students’ competence should predict their own judgments of students’ grades more than an independent achievement test (Jussim & Eccles. grades assess rather general achievement across different specific topics within one subject.73 (depending on the area of research) between expectancies and achievement. 1398). However.g. For instance. Jussim & Eccles. teachers’ expectancies predicted changes in student achievement even when effects of previous achievement and motivation were controlled. 1992) told elementary school teachers in an experimental study that certain children were “bloomers” based on their test results and would show great improvement in their intellectual competence in the coming months. In the present study.. do students learn more when their teacher exhibits a high average level of expectation toward the classroom?). However. Nevertheless. Which mechanisms account for teachers’ expectancy effects? Brophy and Good (1970) described a possible mechanism behind teachers’ expectancies in a comprehensive model: (a) Teachers form differential expectancies for their students. we were able to take advantage of a study with a fairly large sample of students in Grade 5 (N = 1289) and their teachers. Jussim. 1983.g. 2001). 2004. To do so. Rosenthal & Jacobson.

They did not find teacher expectancy effects (measured as perceptions of performance. Lüdtke. Kierein and Gold (2000) summarized 13 studies about Pygmalion effects in work organization. 1. Eden (1990) conducted a study with Defense Forces in the 3 army and found support for the Pygmalion effect for entire work groups.2. 2006. & Anderson.. 1984. Trautwein. Regarding math.50 (Jussim & Eccles. 2003. Smith et al. To this end. 1997. More precisely. Marsh.. 1980. in particular to increase consistency and comparability with prior expectancy research. few studies have examined whether those selfconcepts also mediate the effect of teachers’ expectancies on students’ achievement. focus on teachers’ expectancies about individuals (Spinath & Spinath. such as teachers (Dickhäuser & Stiensmeier-Pelster. these effects have seldom been analyzed empirically in the educational setting. Trautwein. and effort) on students’ achievement at the class level. Lüdtke. & Nagy. Thus. leaders were not told that “this group” had high potential on average. Second. Good (1987) stated that teachers’ expectancies may concern the entire class.. 2009). or school in general. we took into account the nested structure of the data and were able to separate both student. with the multi-level analysis.70 (Marsh. 1990). 2005a) and parents (Frome & Eccles. Yet. 1998. 1984). Therefore.. Predictor and outcome measure were assessed on the same (individual) level. 2005a. which need to be addressed in future research. When a teacher holds rather low average expectancies for a class. some of them also had groups as the unit of analysis for which they found an effect of d = 0. teachers’ expectancies were found to be significantly related to different self-concept domains of elementary children (e. drawing on aggregated data.e. Trautwein. Köller. the sample was relatively small with seven versus 16 teachers and their students and relied on only test scores as the outcome. Hastings & Bham. Köller. for example racial minority students or people from a lower class background (Jussim et al. and these actions may all have a positive effect on students’ self-concept or achievement. Jussim & Harber.. although it is theoretically reasonable to assume whole group effects. A study with eighth and 11th graders and their teachers showed a small mediation effect of students’ self-concept for the relation between teachers’ expectancies and students’ achievement score (Trouilloud et al. 2003. prior studies on expectancy effects for groups followed the assumption that groups of people consist of different individuals and that their differences account for the perception of the whole group (e.g. which can be seen as a strength of the present manuscript (e. 1992) or even r = . Till now. Previous findings have shown positive correlations between students’ math self-concept and students’ math grades of r = .A. Lüdtke. 2005. aggregating student or teacher variables.g. 1998.. 2007). the study was conducted for swimming competence and contained a relatively small sample with seven teachers and their students. see Eden. 2002). Although studies have shown that teachers’ expectancies can influence students’ self-concepts. they analyzed whether ability grouping of classes moderated the relation between teacher expectations and class achievement and found evidence for this in classes that used within-class grouping. This effect has been shown in particular for the domain-specific association of students’ math self-concept and their math achievement. Those class-level teachers’ expectancies could be operationalized in two ways: First. 2001. Smith et al. 2006. and less appreciation by the teacher.3. students’ self-concept can be positively influenced by good prior academic achievement and by ability judgments of significant others.e.g.. studies examining possible mediation effects of students’ selfconcept suffer from certain limitations..’s (1998) considerations. or test scores on the class level is a common method of separating and analyzing student. A second way is by aggregating teachers’ expectancies for the individual students in their class. Students who hold higher self-concepts seem to perceive themselves as more academically competent and confident and therefore tend to accomplish more than students with more negative self-perceptions (e. the study by Eden and the meta-analysis manipulated expectancies rather than employing naturally occurring expectancies and was conducted in the work organizational context. In line with the few existing former studies. if a teacher has rather high average expectancies for a class. grades.83. Rice. 2005). groups of students. & Nishio. and only one achievement outcome (i. Marsh & Yeung. teachers could be asked directly about their expectancies for the class as a whole (e.. and following Smith et al. Marsh & Craven. 2002). Friedrich et al. & Baumert. Marsh & Köller. (1998) analyzed expectancy effects on students’ achievement for students grouped by ability within and between classrooms and for students in heterogeneous classrooms (i. A study with third to sixth graders provided support for a student mediation model of teacher expectancy effects (Brattesani et al.46 to .. talent. Students’ self-concept as a potential mediator Studies have shown that the effect of teachers’ expectancies on students’ achievement can be (partly) mediated by students’ selfconcept (Brattesani et al. again. 1996. Pygmalion effects were conceptualized as the effects of teachers’ expectancies for both individual students and for groups of students or a whole class. 2006). Tenenbaum & Ruck. we assumed that teachers might form evaluations not only for a single student or a subgroup of students but also for whole classes. this teacher might select challenging tasks. however. For example. in the study by Eden (1990) conducted in a military context. but that the people in the group had high potential on average. teachers can be considered to be important agents in forming the self-concepts of their students.and class-level effects (e. reading. Marsh et al. math. Lorenz. 2009).g. Marsh. In a model of the Pygmalion effect by Trouilloud and Sarrazin (2003)... test scores) was used. aggregated before the analyses. or specific individuals. This positive effect might be especially helpful for low-achieving students with poor selfperceptions (which we used in the present study) because a . Yet. 2003. Previous studies investigating expectancies for groups did not use global assessments when exploring expectancy effects for groups (Smith et al. & Baumert. Only a few studies have analyzed effects of teachers’ expectancies for the competences of an entire class on students’ characteristics (e.. this could result in the selection of less difficult tasks. Kuklinski & Weinstein. 2007). 2004. Lüdtke. and therefore were more comparable. Most empirical studies. Indeed. focus more on the strengths of the students. Spinath & Spinath. Roberts.g. & Debus. 1998). In the long term. Trautwein... and give more enforcement. Croninger. By contrast. In more detail. results for Grade 1 and Grade 3 students were not significant. Trouilloud et al. 1998). 2005a).. Martin. in which no ability grouping took place).g. repeated problem talk. there was a small but significant effect of teachers’ expectancies on students’ achievement mediated by the students’ self-concept for Grade 5 students in those classes in which teachers made their expectancies especially salient to the students (Kuklinski & Weinstein. Rathbun. Miller & Murdock. In the literature on multilevel analyses. However.. Schnyder. 2001). thus leaving the generalizability to educational settings unclear. In their meta-analysis. Trouilloud et al. Yet. Craven. we used the second method and refer to this aggregated teacher measure as teachers’ average expectancies. these actions may result in lower self-concepts or achievements of the students in this class.and classroom-level effects. 2002) or specific groups of students. with this approach it was ensured that each student was taken into account to the same extent. 1998). Veldman.. Marsh. Spinath & Spinath. However./Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 1.g. After controlling for prior achievement. & Niggli. Teachers’ expectancies at the class level In his early review.

Method 2. as “teacher judgments about student performance are likely to be influenced by the amount of academic exposure to a student” (Begeny. and the third in June (T3). If class-centered teacher expectations had effects on students’ self-concept and achievement. also see Jussim. teachers should have had an extended time period to observe their students (Jussim. The first measurement was in February (T1). The study was conducted in 2012 during regular school hours. In addition. Data from 73 classes in different schools were collected by trained research assistants at three time points. in an intervention study in 84 classrooms. Previous findings suggest that teacher expectations may be stronger aligned with the class than with individual students (Rubie-Davies. Therefore. . However.g. average and below-average students. teachers with low expectancies for a class had correspondingly lower expectations for highability. following theoretical considerations and previous expectancy research. 53. & Hamilton. the second in April (T2). Third. Second. 1989. research has not provided sufficient insight into classlevel effects of teacher expectancies on students’ class achievement. If the more restrictive models exhibited fit indices that were similar to those of the unconstrained model. the decision to implement a time lag of 6 months was also driven by our interest in explaining achievement changes in students. 540). & Lüdtke. we were interested in whether any expectancy effects would be mediated by students’ expectancy beliefs. 1996. Third. First. Eckert. using a multilevel dataset collected on a sample of N = 1289 fifth-grade students from 73 classrooms and their 73 teachers. 2011. 1983. do teachers’ expectancies regarding students’ competences predict students’ achievement in our sample and will results be significant for both achievement outcomes? Given the overall support for Pygmalion effects (e. Spinath & Spinath. Smith et al. Marsh & Craven. The study was conducted in a real-life setting with a domain-specific focus on math. we tested the following three research questions. & Storie. these kinds of studies have thus far been missing in the educational setting.and class-level effects were teased apart to explore potential class-level effects. Hattie. consequently. 2005b). and RMSEA were used. given the limited number of articles about Pygmalion effects at the class level. p. In order to test whether it would be appropriate to treat the three groups as one dataset for the present analyses. The core prerequisite for participation was that the teachers taught a fifth-grade math class. Praetorius. Bong. control variables such as students’ prior self-concept and prior achievement were assessed at T1. Teachers’ average expectancies might be an effect that exists above the effect of their expectancies for individual students and might be even more powerful as many more students would be affected at the same time (Smith et al. the measurement of grades took place at the time points when the halfand end-year grade cards were assigned. Sibley. Hall.. Similarly. 1997. 2007).e. this might indicate that “the direction of the teacherexpectancy effect is stronger from the teacher to the students than that from the students to the teacher” (Rubie-Davies et al. Fit indices for all models were satisfactory.. Students’ math achievement was assessed at T3. teacher expectancies for all students could be raised. Peterson. we conducted a rather exploratory analysis. Karst. In more detail. 2004).. Kenny. 2006. 2. Therefore. Satorra–Bentler-scaled chi-squares were used for chi-square difference tests. to evaluate comparative model fit.. And indeed. we compared a model in which the effects of the central independent variables on students’ math test scores. Brophy. mathematics). measurement equivalence of the constructs across the groups was assumed (see Little.. several previous studies on expectancy effects in the classroom context have also used a long time lag. lack of mediation analyses in field studies and lack of analyzing possible class-level effects). we expected to find significant results for students’ achievement. CFI. Consequently..or underrate students’ actual competencies. & Lipowsky. p. students received sweets and teachers received a written report of the main findings. For model evaluation. 1. Pekrun. Following this idea. yet there are several limitations to the existing research mentioned above (relying on either test scores or grades. teachers’ expectancies were surveyed in February.1. We speculated that students’ self-concept would mediate the association between teachers’ expectancies of students’ competences and students’ actual achievement. 1998). There were two rationales behind our decision to conduct the first measurement in the middle of the school year in February. & Rosenthal. In addition. we tested whether the effects of the independent variables on the outcomes differed across the three groups (two experimental groups vs. Dickhäuser. 1997). 1996. one control group). Brattesani et al. the common fit indices χ2.. 2007). In summary. Consequently. 1991. 1989). we investigated the role of students’ self-concept as a potential mediator of the expected effect of teachers’ expectancies on students’ achievement. Sample The participants were math teachers (N = 73) and their fifthgrade students (N = 1289) attending the lowest school track in Germany (Haupt and Werkrealschule) who took part in a larger study on self-regulated learning. the present study examined student-level expectancy effects on two important achievement outcomes (school grades and a standardized achievement test). So far. Goetz. This focus reduced complexity 1 The present data were derived from an intervention study with two experimental groups and one control group.1 Teachers and students participated voluntarily. 2006): teachers may hold high or low expectations for their whole class that even can over. 1984. grades. we decided to focus on one subject (i. we probed for a Pygmalion effect at the class level. 2005b). The chi-square difference test indicated that the invariance constraints did not yield a significantly worse model fit.. 2005. Montarello. 2008. which allows teachers to be acquainted with their students before rating them (e. Friedrich et al.4. small sample sizes. Frenzel. student. Jussim & Harber. we wanted to assess two grades assigned by the same teacher within a school year. 1998). Furthermore. We analyzed separate analyses for each outcome. To reward their participation.4 A./Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 supportive and encouraging teacher who insists on a general belief in progress could help those low-achieving students to stay motivated (Jussim et al. we explored whether teachers’ average expectancies of the students in their class would be associated with students’ achievement. Tenenbaum & Ruck. 2001.. Madon et al. average and below-average students. 2014). we did not have a clear prediction about the size of the effect of teachers’ average expectancies for entire classes on students’ achievement. the analyses were conducted on the whole dataset. Second. In more detail. As studies have shown that most motivational and affective constructs are domain-specific in nature (e. thus.g. about 6 months after teachers had started teaching their students.. the report was sent to each school after the study was completed. in our study’s design. In total. Teachers were asked to report their expectancies concerning their fifth graders’ math competence at T1. Students reported their math self-concept at T2. First. We selected low-achieving students because the Pygmalion effect might be especially salient and important in this subpopulation (Jussim et al. this effect was sustained over two school years and influenced students’ learning in math (Rubie-Davies.. and self-concept were constrained to be invariant across groups to a model in which the effects of the independent variables were allowed to vary freely. The present study There has been extensive research on the Pygmalion effect. Rubie-Davies (2007) found that teachers with high expectancies for a class had correspondingly higher expectations for high-ability.g. Spinath & Spinath.

Praetorius. “How good will this student be in swimming?”.81 – – 0.03 – – – – 2..93 – – 0.e. Greb. Seventy-eight percent of the math teachers were also the principal class teacher who taught students in other subjects in addition to math. 68% were female.2. Measures 2. We focused on one federal state (“Baden Wuerttemberg”).g. For the figural reasoning score.94 0. We recoded the grades so that higher values indicate better achievement. In the German school system.2.2. “I can solve even difficult mathematical tasks” and “I do well in mathematics”. 2013. 2002) or by asking teachers for their present opinions of students’ competences (e. Praetorius. 2. Zeinz. & Dresel. Scheunpflug. we selected the two positively worded items.57 2. 2005) of the SelfDescription Questionnaire (SDQ.86 0.11 2.. α = ../Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 5 Table 1 Descriptive statistics of teachers’ math expectancies of their students’ math competence and students’ math self-concept. Friedrich et al. Hoge & Butcher. Students were 10 to 14 years old (M = 10.2%).2.3.04 Note: N = 1145 to 1281. Jussim & Eccles. At both measurement points (T1 and T3). drawing tasks. The math grade was obtained from school records at the end of the school year (in July). The items measured a broad array of students’ math competences such as logical inference. followed the same curriculum. An analysis of dimensionality indicated a good fit for a one-dimensional model at each time point (Time 1: RMSEA = .88 1.05 0. Analogies subscale of the Cognitive Ability Test 4–12 + R (Heller & Perleth..90 3. As negatively worded items may have undesired method effects (e.15 – – 0. In general. In addition.g.79 0. We used expected a posteriori person-parameter estimates (EAPs) calculated with Mplus for further analyses.025. The items (“The student can solve even difficult mathematical tasks” and “The student does well in mathematics”.2. the use of a standardized achievement test was justified and results can be considered comparable. Berner. Time 3: RMSEA = . 2. Nevertheless. Spinath. M. see Table 1) were adapted from the mathematic abilities subscale of the German version (Schwanzer. All schools teach the same content in the same order during the school year. plot the result in a coordinate system). I always have a problem with mathematical tasks.. we conducted a standardized math test. i.018). Student self-reports Students’ math self-concept was assessed by two items at T1 and four items at T2. the test consisted of 34 items with varying response formats (e. single-item measures are commonly used (e.. In addition. 1984. The study procedure was approved by the responsible institutional review board. we used the second approach in the present study. In line with Jussim and Eccles (1992) as well as Friedrich. The test content was based on the school curriculum of fifth graders in Germany. teachers evaluate their students with numerical grades that range from 1 to 6. age. The scale consists in total of four items. division.61. Lüdtke. (r) 2.13 0.33 years (SD = 11. I do well in mathematics. M = mean.67 2. combined IRT models also resulted in good model fit. a German adaptation of the Cognitive Abilities Test developed by Thorndike 2 Germany consists of 16 federal states. T1 T2 Construct No. and Trautwein (2013). Item response theory (IRT) was used to scale students’ math achievement test scores.49 2. T1: α = . their ability to do figural reasoning. On average. (r) = reverse coded. we used the Fig. Students’ achievement Students’ scholastic achievement was assessed by students’ math grades and students’ scores on a standardized math achievement test. Grade 5 is the first year of secondary school. the participation rate was high (91.02 0. Nagengast.. “How talented is this student?”. which is also associated with future-directed expectancies about competences and achievement. teachers were 46 years old (SD = 11. see Table 1) were also adapted from the SDQ with identical wording. we assessed students’ sex. SD. By ensuring that similar mathematical content was taught and by focusing on one federal state. we asked the schools in advance to focus on a specific mathematical topic for the timeframe of the study (a topic that complied with the planned curriculum). Pohlmann. ICC = Intraclass correlation. Measurement time points: T1 = February.71) with a service length of 17. more specifically. The reliability of the resulting measure was very satisfying (α = . Model fit was checked using confirmatory factor analysis models based on polychoric correlations. in our sample. In research on teacher expectancies and teachers’ judgments. Marsh.e. Teachers received two items to rate on a 4-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (completely disagree) to 4 (completely agree) and were asked to assess each student without reference to the other students in the classroom. Only students with active parental consent participated in the study. Schmitz. we assumed that a two-item measure was acceptable.86). Therefore. T2 = April. Class sizes varied from nine to 29 students. transformation or use of the rule of three. thereby indicating measurement invariance. each of which has specific educational systems and curricula. 2005).91 0. and ICC were calculated on uncentered items. Kuklinski & Weinstein. The student does well in mathematics.2 Although our sample consisted of students from the lowest school track only. Students had 35 minutes to complete the test. Due to limited space we only assessed two items in the teacher questionnaire at the first measurement. 2010. Trouilloud et al. & Sydow. multiple choice items. 2001. 2.79. I can solve even difficult mathematical tasks.g. open questions. and their prior achievement. T2: α = . Jonkmann. 2000). Marsh.g.A. The items (e. Trautwein. of two positively and two negatively worded items.4.32). 1992). 1990). SD = standard deviation. Lipowsky.. Teacher reports Teachers were asked to report their expectancies of their fifthgrade students’ math competence at T1. 2.57 – – 0.03 0.29 2.19 0. . In addition to collecting grades.2. in the interpretation of our results. & Gollwitzer. We applied two parallel tests (Forms A and B) at each time point and used a rotation design with a set of fixed items (“anchor items”) to be able to compare the test results of Times 1 and 3 and a set of items that varied between the time points to reduce possible influences of training effects.g. SD = 0. Item M SD ICC M SD ICC Teachers’ expectancies Students’ self-concept 1 2 1 2 3 4 The student can solve even difficult mathematical tasks.1..77) and equally distributed with respect to gender (52% boys). therefore ensuring that all public schools in this state. teachers’ expectancies can be assessed by asking teachers about their expectancies of students’ future success (e.95.86.05 0. i. there was a representative amount of variability in grades and test scores. Müller.g. 2004. & Streblow. (r) I would like the subject math more if it wasn’t so difficult.83 0. Control variables As control variables. 1996).

2012). Again. IRT was used to scale students’ test scores. κ2 is interpreted as the proportion of the maximum possible indirect effect that could have occurred. the ICCs ranged from 0. Marginal reliabilities for WLEs reached acceptable values (Rel. Bauer. To test our research questions.3.19 for teacher reports at T1. & Aiken. 2001).6 A. we conducted another multilevel regression analyses in which teachers’ expectancies were entered as a predictor at the class level (Level 2) in order to test the teachers’ average expectancy effects for a whole class on students’ achievement. 2012). The subscale is an efficient and often used nonverbal measure of students’ cognitive abilities. The model fit statistics were satisfactory with no signs of bottom or ceiling effects. the Rasch model was chosen as the measurement model.4. Α value of 0 means there is no linear indirect effect. First. 2011). Trautwein.02 to 0. 2002. and rather large and mostly significant coefficients for prior achievement on the student and class levels. and prior achievement in all models. in which direct and indirect effects were calculated. Coefficients of the control variables are reported in Tables 2–4.. Preacher. For students’ cognitive abilities. = . We will begin by summarizing the results for our control variables for all models.827 for Form B). we analyzed teacher expectancy effects at the student level (Level 1) for both outcome variables. Kreft. & Gil. we first entered teachers’ expectancies of students’ competence and students’ self-concept as student-level predictors of either the achievement-test outcome or the math-grade outcome. we found rather small and only a few significant coefficients for students’ sex and for students’ age. Research Question 3 examined possible teacher expectancy effects at the class level.05 at T2. Measures of explained variance In addition to reporting unstandardized regression coefficients.2. thus implying that they were only moderately affected by the nesting in classrooms (see Table 1). A multilevel approach (a) yields correct standard errors and (b) allows the user to separate the variance between the two levels of analysis (Raudenbush & Bryk. and outcome variable were all specified on Level 1 only (e. we used the syntax provided by Preacher. To examine Research Questions 1 and 2. in which overall means were subtracted from each variable (Muthén & Muthén. we analyzed two separate multilevel regression analyses. meaning maximum dependency within clusters (Snijders & Bosker. 1998–2012). 2. respectively. meaning total independence of observations to 1. Adams. as suggested by Snijders and Bosker (1994) and following Nagengast. we took into account the possibility that an absolute effect may seem trivial but may in fact be large when one considers the range of potential values that the effect could have assumed. Zyphur. Regression analyses To examine Research Questions 1 and 3. Control variables We tested the effects of the control variables students’ sex. we aggregated teachers’ expectancies of individual students. For students’ self-reports. κ2 is a standardized value and is independent of sample size (see Preacher & Kelley. Wilson.3. 2. Results Descriptive results for teachers’ expectancies of their students’ math competence and students’ math self-concept are summarized in Table 1. Item. small but significant coefficients for students’ figural reasoning score. Besides our thematic interest. 2007). All analyses were conducted using Mplus Version 7 (Muthén & Muthén. & Haldane. 1998–2012). The maximum likelihood estimator with robust standard errors was used. mediator. we used a multilevel framework with students on the within level (Level 1) and class on the between level (Level 2). Both multilevel regression analyses on the student level and the class level were calculated separately for the two outcomes (math grade and achievement test score). using multilevel analyses is the appropriate method due to the clustering of students in a class that is assessed by one teacher. we used the grandmean-centering option in Mplus./Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 and Hagen (1971).0 (Wu.13 to 0. Weighted maximum likelihood estimates (WLE) were used as person parameter estimates in further analyses. it compares variance components between and within clusters.and between-student levels. two separate multilevel regression analyses and multilevel mediation analyses were conducted for each outcome variable.3. Multilevel structure As we were interested in effects of teachers’ expectancies on outcomes of individual students and on the class level. The first research question dealt with teacher expectancy effects at the student level. In the present study.835 for Form A and Rel. 1995. 3. to investigate the effects of teachers’ expectancies for individual students. whereas 1 indicates that the indirect effect is as large as it could be. In more detail. we will report the proportion of explained variance (R2) at the within. a structure that violates the assumption of independence of observations (Snijders & Bosker. To examine effects of teachers’ average expectancies for a whole class (Research Question 3).1. Further. The degree of clustering and the amount of between-class variance are usually measured by the intraclass correlation (ICC). The subscale consists of 25 figural items in a multiple-choice format and takes 8 minutes. we will also report the mean squared predictor error as an overall measure of explained variance. figural reasoning score.1. Mediation To assess whether the effects of teachers’ expectancies on the two outcomes were mediated by students’ self-concept (Research Question 2). 2. 3. 2012).g. Kelava. 2007. and Zhang (2010). Snijders & Bosker. and Lüdtke (2013).. we analyzed two mediation models. age. We further calculated contextual effects. de Leeuw. Marsh et al. Next we will report the main findings of each research question. and it ranges from 0. 2011 for more information). Following instructions by Nagengast and Marsh (2012).3. Estimates of contextual effects that represent the effect of Level 2 variables after controlling for Level 1 differences can be obtained by subtracting the Level 1 effect from the Level 2 effect (Enders & Tofighi. 2012). taking into account the effects of the control variables separately.3. Thereby. and Research Question 2 examined possible mediation effects of these expectancy beliefs.00. In summarizing the effects on students’ math achievement. we had two parallel tests (Forms A and B). Krull & MacKinnon. 2006. 2. Second. By using this coefficient. = . we used the latent aggregation procedure in Mplus in which all Level 1 variables are implicitly grand-mean centered. the ICCs ranged from 0. the direct effect of teachers’ expectancies on students’ self-concept and the indirect effect of teachers’ expectancies on the achievement outcomes as mediated by students’ self-concept were also estimated in the respective model.and person-parameters were estimated using ConQuest 2. For both models. tapping highly g-loaded ability components for which norm data for fifth graders in Germany exist. Friedrich et al. The ICC is the proportion of total variance explained by the variation at the class level. We calculated the effect size of the indirect effects using the κ2 statistic (Preacher & Kelley. We averaged those expectancies for each class using the between-level function in Mplus. We specified a 1–1–1 model (lower-level mediation) in which our predictor. .3. yielding Yuan– Bentler-scaled chi-square values. Statistical analyses 2.

→ Mediator students’ math self-concept (T2) B Research Question 2 (outcome math test) Within-students’ level Sex Age (T1) Figural reasoning (T1) Math test score (T1) Students’ self-concept (T1) Teachers’ expectancies (T1) Students’ self-concept (T2) Variance components Within-student R2 −0.03 0. . p = . To summarize the findings for Research Question 1: Teachers’ expectancies of their students’ math competences were shown to significantly predict changes in students’ math achievement.03 0. Students’ sex was coded: 0 = male..62 Note: Unstandardized regression coefficients are reported. Concerning Research Question 1. → Outcome math test (T3) Variable Research Question 1 (outcome math test/grade) B Within-students’ level Sex Age (T1) Figural reasoning (T1) Math test (T1) Math grade (T1) Teachers’ expectancies (T1) Variance components Within-student R2 SE 0.00 0. p = .05 −0.03 0.06** 0.34** −0.13. figural reasoning score. respectively.03 – 0. The results of these multilevel regression analyses are summarized in Table 2.27 → Mediator students’ math self-concept (T2) B → Outcome math test (T3) SE 0.08* SE 0.04 0. 1 = female.01 0.e. Measurement time points: T1 = February./Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 7 Table 2 Two regression models analyzing teachers’ expectancies of students’ math competences as predictor of students’ math achievement (Research question 1).00) and students’ math grade (b = .01 0.03 0.04 0.03 0.17** −0. figural reasoning score.04 0.00).02 0.01 – 0.01 0. Grandmean centering was used. The within-student R2 values were 26% and 62%. Expectancy effects at the student level (research question 1) For Research Question 1.14* −0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03 0. 1 = female.03 0. T3 = June.01.11. thus replicating former studies about the Pygmalion effect in a large longitudinal field study using two achievement outcomes.02 0.03 0.09* – 0. teachers’ expectancies significantly predicted both students’ math test score (b = .00 −0.68** 0.04 0.A. upper and lower parts).04 0. we controlled for students’ sex.03 0.52** 0. We tested our assumptions in two separate models for math test and math grade (see Table 3.15** 0.01 0. the columns to the right present results for the model with students’ math grade as the outcome. Table 3 Two mediation models analyzing the role of students’ self-concept as a possible mediator of teachers’ expectancies of students’ math competences and the outcome students’ math achievement (Research question 2). Unstandardized regression coefficients are reported.03 0.03 −0.06** 0.04 0. Mediation at the student level (research question 2) Research Question 2 addressed the question of whether the association between teachers’ expectancies of their students’ math competences and students’ achievements would be mediated by students’ self-concept in math.02 −0.09** 0. Given the overall support for Pygmalion effects. Thereby.2. results for the math-grade outcome are summarized.11** 0.02 0. age. prior test score or grade) on the within-students’ level in the model.01. 3.04** – 0. Friedrich et al. In the first columns.02 0. 3. and prior achievement (at T1). results for the model with students’ math test score as the outcome variable are reported.02 0.11** 0.04 0. ** p < .02 0.04** 0.26 → Outcome math grade (T3) B SE −0.01 0.02 0. Grand-mean centering was used.46 B 0.03 0.15** 0. Grades were reverse coded with 1 indicating the worst and 6 the best grade. in the lower part. and prior achievement (i. R2 = explained variance. prior self-concept. Measurement time points: T1 = February.01 0. T3 = June.04 0.46 Research Question 2 (outcome math grade) Within-students’ level Sex Age (T1) Figural reasoning (T1) Math grade (T1) Students’ self-concept (T1) Teachers’ expectancies (T1) Students’ self-concept (T2) Variance components Within-student R2 −0. Grand-mean centering was used. age. * p < .08** 0.3. we expected to find significant results for teachers’ expectancies of their students’ competences and both achievement outcomes.04 0.63 Note: In the upper part of the table. T2 = April. We controlled for students’ sex. ** p < .55** 0.05.02 0. Concerning Research Question 2. results of the mediation model for the math-test outcome are summarized. Grades were reverse coded with 1 indicating the worst and 6 the best grade.35** – 0.17** – SE 0. Students’ sex was coded: 0 = male. R2 = explained variance.01 0. we found significant associations between teachers’ expectancies and students’ self-concept (b = .03 – 0.64** −0.01 0.07** SE 0. we analyzed whether teachers’ expectancies of their students’ math competences would be associated with students’ achievements at the student level.13** 0.17.04 – → Outcome math grade (T3) B −0.

and teachers’ expectancies of individual students’ math competence at the within-students’ level.01. prior math achievement.08.04 −0. *p < ./Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 Table 4 Two regression models analyzing teachers’ aggregated expectancies of their class’ math competences (on the between-students’ level) as a predictor of students’ math achievement (Research question 3).09 for math grade.17** Students’ selfconcept (T2) Teachers’ expectancies (T1) 0. Although not illustrated.06** 0.11 0. 1.08** 0.03 for the math test and κ2 = 0.11** Level 2 Level 1 0.07** Math grade (T3) 0.62 0. p = . To summarize the findings for Research Question 2: The association between teachers’ expectancies of their students’ competences and students’ achievements were partially mediated by students’ self-concept in math for the math-grade outcome but not for the math-test outcome.03 – 0.03 0. The Level 1 mediation effect size was rather small with κ2 = 0.01. In addressing Research Question 3. for math grade).01. p = .08* Math test score (T3) 0.05. T3 = June. figural reasoning score.01 – 0. R2 = explained variance. 3. which resulted in 27% explained variance in students’ math test score and 63% explained variance in students’ math grade on the within-students’ level. Results of multilevel mediation models at the within-students’ level (Research Question 2): Students’ self-concept was assumed to mediate the effect of teachers’ expectancies on students’ math achievement.01 −0. Measurement time points: T1 = February.04 0.01.08. To this end. Grades were reverse coded with 1 indicating the worst and 6 the best grade. We also found significant direct effects of students’ selfconcept (T2) on students’ achievement (b = . Friedrich et al.67** 0. we found no significant association between teachers’ average expectancies and students’ later Level 2 Level 1 0. in the math grade model).71 0.31 0.02 0. prior math achievement.00. .08 0. age. and prior self-concept (T1) in math. We further calculated the within-student R2 values.05).04 0. p = . 1. p = . teachers’ average expectancies were applied at the class level to predict students’ two math achievement outcomes (see Table 4).41 0. The main results of the two multilevel mediation models are summarized in Fig. Expectancy effects at the class level (research question 3) Research Question 3 addressed whether teachers’ average expectancies of their students’ math competence would be reflected by the students’ achievements. we controlled for students’ sex.03 −0. ** p < .03 0. → Outcome math test (T3) Variable Research Question 3 B Within-students’ level Sex Age (T1) Figural reasoning (T1) Math test (T1) Math grade (T1) Teachers’ expectancies (T1) Between-students’ level Teachers’ average expectancies (T1) Variance components Within-student R2 Between-student R2 Snijders & Bosker’s R2 → Outcome math grade (T3) SE B SE 0. b = . models were calculated controlling for students’ sex.01. T3 = June.07.15** Fig.64 Note: Unstandardized regression coefficients are reported.04 0.4.09. In both models. The indirect effect of teachers’ expectancies on the math test mediated by students’ self-concept was not significant (b = . b = .01. Grand-mean centering was used for the calculation of context effects (model constraints).14** 0. p = . The indirect effect of teachers’ expectancies on math grade mediated by students’ self-concept was small and significant (b = .07). in the math test model vs. Measurement time points: T1 = February.05 −0. figural reasoning score. We calculated the effectsize measure κ2. T2 = April.01 0. 1 = female.03 0.8 A. age. **p < . which displays the size of the indirect effect relative to the maximum possible indirect effect given the constraints of the variance–covariance matrix of the three variables involved in the analysis.01 0. Students’ sex was coded: 0 = male.34** – 0.27 0.04** – 0.13** 0. for the math test.09* Students’ selfconcept (T2) Teachers’ expectancies (T1) 0. p = .

In Research Question 1. Our results indicated that teacher expectancies of individual students’ competence but not teachers’ average expectancies of their class’ competence were positively related to students’ achievement (see Tables 2 and 4). being in a class environment with students for whom their teacher held generally high or low expectancies in math had no association with their individual math achievement. Third. teachers’ average expectancies were found to have no association with students’ test score or math grade after controlling for students’ sex. age. 9 Regarding the mediation analyses in Research Question 2.17. maybe teachers’ expectancies at the between-students’ level are simply not associated with students’ achievement. We wanted to gather new insights into the dynamics of teacher expectancies on students’ achievement within a classroom. results for teachers’ expectancies on the within level (those on the between level were not significant) were identical. further research is needed to evaluate this hypothesis. teachers’ expectancies at the withinstudents’ level. As Brophy claimed: “It is not appropriate to deny important individual differences by trying to maintain very high expectancies for all students” (Brophy. as the results were really small. e. 1998). teachers might convey their high expectation of the classes’ abilities. All in all. and prior achievement. The contextual effect was negative for the math test (b = −0. 4. Achievement measures In the present study. and these perceptions and reactions result in more or less positive learning outcomes. Thus. and teachers’ communication of differential expectations for individual students could be the more important information for students. we separated expectancies on the within-student and between-student levels.. Sixth.2. teacher expectancies formed earlier may have a greater effect on students’ outcomes than expectancies assessed mid-half of the school year.70) or students’ later math grade (b = . First. or on more objective information regarding students’ characteristics (Trouilloud et al. Teacher expectancies may be based on teachers’ subjective characteristics.1. We analyzed contextual effects by subtracting the Level 1 effects from the Level 2 effects. On a theoretical basis. 1983. Effects of teachers’ average expectancies of their students Because of a lack of research. maybe teachers do not form an overgeneralized opinion of their class but rather form a differentiated opinion of each of their students.g. Smith et al. a different approach might be more fruitful. p = . in line with the fifth reason.. Lorenz & Artelt. According to the Pygmalion effect. thus. we found significant results for the outcome grade but not for the achievement test. and Snijders and Bosker’s R2 values of 31% and 64%. Teachers form expectancies regarding their students already early in the school year (Brophy. caution is warranted on interpreting the difference at all. There are at least six possible reasons for this finding.14) as well as for math grade (b = −0. p = . The large and significant between-student R2 value can be explained by the impact of the control variables. one might profit from using measures that directly tap teachers’ “class impression” rather than aggregating teachers’ expectancies that were formed on the individual level../Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 math test score (b = −. One explanation for this finding might be that although teachers reported their expectancies on students’ competences and we could expect that those expectations would be highly correlated with students’ actual performance. With such an approach. resulting in within-student R2 values of 27% and 62%. And indeed. for example. 1983). no matter whether the teachers’ prior expectancies were accurate or not. pedagogical. figural reasoning score. maybe it is not the existence . However. Second. However. for students with equal preconditions. especially prior achievement on students’ later achievement (the results of the control variables at the betweenstudents’ level are not displayed in Table 4). during instruction in class. Fifth. we found that teachers’ expectancies were positively associated with students’ math achievement at the end of the school year. especially those for whom they have high expectancies. thus allowing us to compare effects. it would be possible to detect existing differences between teachers’ impressions of individuals and of the class as a whole. However. The lack of published studies that have taken this association into account in educational field studies might provide a first hint.g. A fourth reason might concern the time frame used: it could be that the time period was too short for teachers’ expectancies to influence students’ achievement. such as choice of amount of tasks. the direct effect of teachers’ expectations on student outcomes was again identical and slightly higher for the math-grade outcome than for the math-test outcome. and the coefficients for math grade were slightly higher only on a descriptive level. Thus. Future mediation studies should try to replicate (and maybe extend) the results we found. informational. but the coefficients were not significant. 657).. and prior achievement. we were interested in possible associations between teachers’ average expectancies of the math competence of an entire class and students’ later math achievement. p = .04. 4. teachers’ expectancies predicted grades and test scores equally. As teachers were responsible for reporting the data used in the study as well as for giving the grades. as both methods—grades and tests—have their strengths and weaknesses. age. the magnitude of teachers’ average expectancies seems unimportant for their students’ achievement. selection. but then turn to individual students and address them directly. Therefore. we profited from combining the two methods in the present study and suggest combining them in future studies as well.A. For instance. difficulty of tasks. Discussion Teachers form expectancies of their students’ achievements. students perceive and react to their teachers’ expectancies. For Research Question 3. To summarize the findings for Research Question 3. maybe the impact of expectancies for a class on the instructional practices of teachers is smaller than the impact of expectancies for individual students. between-student R2 values of 41% and 71%.23).11. in order to motivate a class.. Teacher expectancies developed over half of the school year might be founded on more objective information about students. 4. although using an aggregated measure of teachers’ average expectancies is a method that has been used previously (e. Tests have the advantage of focusing more on students’ real achievement. teachers’ stereotypes. we may have expected higher coefficients for the math-grade outcome as found by Jussim and Eccles (1992). we found almost identical coefficients for teachers’ expectancies on students’ math grades and on their test scores. Thus. teacher expectancies for individual students might define the interaction with students. when controlling for students’ sex.04. However.. 2002).e. the teacher commonmethod aspect mentioned earlier could explain this result. This means that teachers’ average expectancies for a class could be associated with teachers’ general instructional decisions. in studying the expectations of 73 teachers and the achievements of their fifth-grade students. one-time achievement tests are influenced more by situational events during test taking than grades. school grades are not just objective indicators of students’ performance. Regarding the mediation analyses.66). or class homework. 2009). we focused on two indicators of students’ achievement. Friedrich et al. which incorporate achievement assessments of several occasions in written and verbal form over a whole school year. However. figural reasoning score. p. p = . but they have other functions as well (i. etc. We further calculated the explained variance components.

(1979). 23(1). Preacher. 2001. doi:10. could be analyzed. 4.. C. task value. Third. Future research needs to explore which strategy used to assess the expectancies for whole classes yields more insight. Fourth. “My teacher thinks that this class is capable of achieving good test results”) and for individual students (e. Bong. Furthermore. (1970). 2007). A.631.g. 75(5).1037/0022-0663. A. With this assessment method. (2008). G. 1982) should be examined in future studies. Nevertheless. 11(2). Journal of Educational Psychology. R. 1986). 2003.. especially regarding differences in students’ achievement. which is supported by the Ministry of Science. & Gil.3. therefore.43.g... we used a relatively large number of teachers.23.11. Brattesani. Teachers’ perceptions of students’ reading abilities: An examination of the relationship between teachers’ judgments and students’ performance across a continuum of rating methods. M./Contemporary Educational Psychology 41 (2015) 1–12 of teachers’ individual and teachers’ whole-group expectancies per se that have the greatest impact on students’ self-concept and achievement. 365–374. As we assessed only one teacher per class. drawing on the literature on teacher expectancy effects to increase the amount of valid information that teachers had about the verbal and non-verbal behavior of their students (e.93. Psychological Methods.g. Weinstein. Freiberger et al. teachers assessed all students in their class rather than a small number of target children as has frequently been the practice in other studies. L.. Between.2.2. J. future studies could also ask students if they are aware of the expectancies their teacher has for the whole class (e.g. although we profited from restricting the study to one subject domain (i. Alena Friedrich was a member of the Graduate School Empirical Educational Research.. Marshall. Journal of Educational Psychology. no interrater reliability could be calculated. References Bauer. 76(2).1037/00220663. M. Montarello.1. & Nishio. J. Benjamin Nagengast. T. If students perceive that their teachers hold high expectancies for them and for the class as a whole. Jussim. Research on the self-fulfilling prophecy and teacher expectations. we recommend that future studies investigate whether assessing teachers’ whole class expectancies directly (e. investigating the Pygmalion effect in a nonexperimental longitudinal field study with real expectancies and real achievement scores allows for high ecological validity. J. . The relative equitability of high-stakes testing versus teacher-assigned grades: An analysis of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). Brennan. 142–163. S. or low individual expectancies but high whole-class expectancies. & Marshall. 43–55. Tokyo. L. This research was supported by a grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to Bernhard Schmitz and Ulrich Trautwein (01JH0918). H.5. J.1. (1984). Weinstein et al. The University of Tokyo. future longitudinal research concerning teacher expectancy effects might also benefit from an even longer time period between collecting teacher expectancies and students’ self-concepts. 2004. Begeny. & Siperstein. Teachers’ communication of differential expectations for children’s classroom performance: Some behavioral data. future studies should study if and how teachers communicate the expectancies for whole classes. Second. 49(3).. N. or by using teacher/student perception measures (for review see Shulman. However. Weinstein. & Middlestadt. Brattesani. Wenz-Gross. the separation of teachers’ expectancies of individual students’ competences (the within level) versus their expectancies of the class as a whole (the between level) enabled us to examine potential positive and negative effects on students’ outcomes at both levels. T. examining students’ view of both teacher expectancies might be an interesting addition to current expectancy research. there might be no incremental effect of the whole-class expectancies. Third. “My teacher thinks that I am capable of achieving good test results”). 1989). R. J. the studies conducted to date only assess students’ perceptions of their teachers’ individual expectancies (Dickhäuser & Stiensmeier-Pelster. and we were therefore able to make more reliable and valid conclusions. M. Paper presented at the 2nd International Symposium on Educational Attainment and School Reform: Policy. Germany. This approach provided us with a relatively large set of data. as it was the only possible option for assessing grades from the same teacher in our sample of 5th grade students that had transitioned from the elementary school to secondary school.g. doi:10. E. the nonsignificant finding of teachers’ average expectations needs to be replicated in additional studies. A. Kathrin Jonkmann. H. by interviewing teachers/students. & Good. doi:10. Goetz et al. the level of generalizability to other subjects needs to be tested in future studies. mathematics) by taking the domain specificity of most motivational and affective constructs into account (e. Center for Research on Core Academic Competence. & Storie. Finally. Acknowledgments Alena Friedrich. doi:10. M. Rice.g. doi:10. Fifth.23.. it needs to be studied whether teachers’ expectancies assessed at the beginning of the school year have greater predictive validity for students’ outcomes than teachers’ expectancies assessed at later time points in the school year. Barbara Flunger. (1983).e. First..1037/h0029908. K. but a potential discrepancy between these expectancies perceived by students. 389–410. We chose the time point for gathering teachers’ expectancies in February. M.. Possible differential and interaction effects of teachers’ individual and whole-class expectancies on students’ outcomes as well as classroom variability in the perception of these expectancies (e. Japan. the time lag of February until July was chosen due to logistical reasons.g. 173–216. Limitations and future research The present study has several strengths... we measured the construct with a relatively small set of items. 61(5). E. 72072 Tübingen. J.. Research.1037/10453830. Evaluation.. especially under control of students’ competences and self-concept. “This student is capable of achieving good test results”).. K. there might be differential effects of the whole-class expectancy on their self-concept and achievement. 93(1). Journal of Educational Psychology.236. Kim.76. Europastraße 6. (2003).. it remains unclear which time lag is the most suitable for an adequate measurement of teachers’ expectancies.. S. 631–661. To the best of our knowledge. Croninger. Pygmalion grows up: A model for teacher expectation communication and performance influence. (2001). the differential impact of the perceived teachers’ expectancies for individuals and the class on individual students’ outcomes. it was necessary to limit the number of items. Kenny. 23–34. e. Eckert. K. Rathbun. Second. and the Arts in BadenWürttemberg. Brophy. R. Friedrich et al. and achievement goals. Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology. for students who perceive high individual expectancies but low whole-class expectancies. Journal of Educational Psychology. In addition. Bong. which is a precondition for the generalizability of results. as they contain no additional or contradictory information. Harvard Educational Review. as teachers had to fill out questionnaires at several time points and assess the items for all students in a class.and within-domain relations of academic motivation among middle and high school students: Self-efficacy. 1982).. T. 236–247. doi:10... and Ulrich Trautwein.10 A. Brophy. That is. H. So far. S. Conceptualizing and testing random indirect effects and moderated mediation in multilevel models: New procedures and recommendations. M. D.. by observation classes. (2001).. J.142. As a preliminary finding for further research. 2012. Teacher qualifications and first grade achievement: A multilevel analysis.1037/1082989X. Cooper. in addition. G.75. “This class is capable of achieving good test results”) is better suited to study class-level effects of teacher expectancies than using averaged scores of teachers’ expectancies for individual students (e. K. School Psychology Quarterly. doi:10. (2006). Review of Educational Research. the present study still has a number of limitations. and Classroom Practices..g..1037/ 0022-0663. 71(2). However.3102/00346543049003389... Student perceptions of differential teacher treatment as moderators of teacher expectation effects.

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