Low Expectations : High Expectations

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Low Expectations A common theme among the research I read for this essay was the low expectations that educators all too often had for Aboriginal students. Whitley’s (2014) noted, “Students highlighted feeling disengaged and unmotivated as a result of the low expectations and lack of support they experienced at school” (p.158). By having lower expectations for Aboriginal students we are not only under estimating their capabilities but we are also devaluing what they have to offer the learning environment. In turn we are damaging the students own understanding of their self-worth. The teachers interviewed in Smith (1999) article explained, “That when teachers have low expectations, students will also have lower expectations of themselves” (p.161). This statement reveals the devastating impact that low expectations have on the child and their academic success. The solution to this challenge seems simple; educators need to raise their expectations for Aboriginal students. However, it is important to understand why teachers have these low expectations. I personally jumped to conclusions of cultural bias and racism. As pointed out earlier in this essay, “racism and prejudice that exists in many schools and broader communities where Aboriginal students are viewed as less capable and lowered expectations of their success are held by their teachers” (Whitley, Rawana and Brownlee, 2014, p.37). However, one article pointed out an interesting view that teachers “balanced high
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