Our expectations do affect the way we behave in situations and the way we behave affects how other people do respond. In order to be able to secure a seat at the university, we had been carefully “crafted” by many teachers in order to successfully tackle the exams’ challenging questions. But have we ever pondered about our Teachers’ Expectations contributing to our achievements? Lets Critically Analyse…
You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.
With this quotation from George Bernard Shaw’s play, PYGMALION, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson conclude their 1968 publication, PYGMALION IN THE CLASSROOM. Just as the character, Eliza Doolittle, suggests that a person’s place in society is largely a matter of how he or she is treated by others, the Rosenthal/Jacobson study concluded that students’ intellectual development is largely a response to what teachers expect and how those expectations are communicated.
A teacher expects specific behaviour and achievement from particular students. Because of the different expectations, the teacher behaves differently towards different students.
If a teacher expects a student to do well, he will ask him questions frequently, will give him a second chance if the student’s answer is wrong. The student is given a hint/clue with adequate wait-time. When addressing the student, his non-verbal communication will show lots of respect and caring. If such a treatment is consistent, it will tend to shape the student’s behaviour and achievement. With time, the student’s behavior and achievement will conform more and more closely to that expected of him or her. Given that the student feels that s/he is held high-esteem, he is cared for and respected, he will try very hard at school, to please the teacher, to meet up his expectations. I have had the opportunity to be shaped by my teachers’ expectations.
To start with that of one of my CPE Hindi teacher- on the day of the CPE exams results, he glanced at my ranking position, and told me that I did not met up to his expectations. That was like to me. Since that day, I was determined to be able to come up with something to be able to make him honoured
as a teacher. And after years of struggling, proudly I worked for this.
Then came secondary life: Very challenging at the HSC. One fun part of Teacher expectations is where I took the results and proceeded to my first tuition teacher (Maths). He really had greatly motivated me to be able to obtain good results in Maths. And when I reached his place, he told me about his expectations – “Je veux que du A la ein, Ramjeeawon”. Saluting this expectation and then with a large smile, I said- “Vous ne serais pas déçu monsieur”, I handed over the British Transcript.
Another brillant bestest best Economics teacher I had ever had told me about his expectations: “Avec sa baggage ceki ou ti ena la, mo ti p attan ou parmi top 10”.
And how can I forget those exciting GP tuitions, where I was always been given to start the discussion on an Essay topic.
Sadly, On the other hand I also witnessed the unability to meet the friendliest teacher I have ever had (who can even phone me at 12:00 to confirm that I am studying hard). His comments – “ta Ashesh, tu sa papier theory nune travail la, kuma mo pa truv distinction 1 la dan??”. And here, we go, working hard to be able to honour his expecations now.
Concerning university lecturers, its a bit different- with such a cohort of students, the lecturer hardly has much opportunity to observe students and see how they are doing. But undoubtedly, they form expectations.
So what do you think about: High-expectation students will be led to achieve at or near their potential, but low expectation students will not gain as much as they could have gained if taught differently. Did this apply to your academic trail up to now?