Teachers ' Expectations Influence Pupils ' Performance

942 Words Mar 4th, 2016 4 Pages
This essay will look at whether teachers’ expectations influence pupils’ performance by discussing areas such as classroom dynamics, student circumstances, teacher’s beliefs and student/teacher relationships. Through this analysis it will bring in concepts such as the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, The Hawthorne effect and Rosenthal’s Pygmalion. Throughout the overall discussion it will utilise the main authors and studies in this field whilst creating a balanced argument.

Before looking at the theories and studies that support the argument it is important to look at two individual but interconnected factors that can influence pupils’ performance. Studies have found that in some cases teachers’ develop their expectations based on reliable criteria, such as past academic performance or classroom behaviour (Dusek & Joseph, 1983). Moreover, research conducted by Rist (1970) sheds light on the idea that teachers generally have a preconceived idea of what it takes for a student to succeed academically, thus, explaining, the majority of teachers believe that there is an ideal type of student who possess specific characteristics which will insure academic success. However despite this, Dusek & Joseph (1983) conducted an analysis of various studies in order to determine the bases of this argument and found that gender and belonging to a one-parent family were usually not determinants of teacher expectations.

Another factor that can influence teachers’ expectations of a student is…
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