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The Pygmalion Effect Essay

1121 words - 5 pages

Teachers are the most influential part of education by far, their involvement and interaction with a student is extremely important. Teacher attention is a primary key factor as well as a key indicator as to how well a student performs, however what happens to the student who does not receive their teacher’s attention? Research studies performed by various scholars including Robert Rosenthal, Lenore Jacobson, Christine Rubies-Davies, John Hattie, and Richard Hamilton explore how teachers’ expectations directly correlate with a students’ academic achievement.
In the early 1960’s a study conducted by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson depicted the impact of teacher expectations and how it positively influenced student achievement. They began their research by conducting an IQ test at the beginning of the school year. They randomly selected one-fifth of the students and deeming them exceptionally gifted. Rosenthal and Jacobson then delivered the names of the “high-scoring students” to their teacher informing the teacher that these students had promise and were likely to do great things. Rosenthal and Jacobson in their hypothesis knew that news of this magnitude would spike an increased interest in the teachers’ expectations of the “gifted” students, as well as the students whom now believed that they were above average. Later that year, the students then took another IQ test and the results came back as originally hypothesized. The increased expectations of their teachers caused the students to do exceptionally well on their IQ tests; thus proving that teachers expectations directly correlates with student achievement (Conley 509-510).
In a similar research study conducted by Christine M. Rubies-Davies of the University of Auckland in Zealand, sought to compare the difference between teachers with high expectations as well as low expectations and how it affect their students’ academic achievements (Rubies-Davies 121). The study consisted of a survey that was administered at the beginning of the school year that contained questions ranging from students attitudes of their school work, relationships with others, and at home support for school. Of the teachers that were surveyed, six teachers were deemed high expectation teachers and three low expectation teachers. The subject that was being taught and measured was reading. The high expectation teachers teaching styles were more open and constructive, they encouraged their students to engage in open questions and managed their students behavior in a positive manner whereas the low expectation teachers responded negatively to their students behavior and thus remained within their students’ ability when assigning course work (Rubies-Davies 125). As expected, the teachers with high expectations of their students performed exceptionally well throughout the year in the subject of reading and the low expectation teachers students did not perform as well (Rubies-Davies 126). Further supporting...

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