Monday, April 4, 2011

Brophy & Good (1974) - Teacher-student relationships - Expectation effects

Brophy, J., & Good, T. (1974). Teacher-student relationships: Causes and consequences. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Ch. 10 Classroom research: Some suggestions for the future

Expectation effects
  • The book documents specific ways in which teachers have been found to communicate low expectations of student, and what the effects are
  • Teacher expectations can influence students' achievement and affect (attitudes) toward school, learning, and subject matter.
  • Teachers often rank their students in order of achievement after only a few days of class, and these rankings are stable over time (p302)
  • Proactive teachers appear to be undeterred by their expectations for low achieving students, so they spend more time interacting with lows than highs
  • Reactive teachers tend to "let nature takes it's course" and tend to allow high students to dominate classroom life because of their ability and initiative
  • A third type of teacher overreacts to student differences by overtly favoring high students, which then tends to magnify the difference with lows
  • Global expectations of an entire class have been related to student gain. Teachers who overestimate the ability of students get better results than teachers who underestimate.
  • Some teachers seem to pick certain students in order to cue their teaching tactics, especially when to move on to a new topic. These students then determine the tempo and pacing of instruction.
Matching Students and Teachers
  • Teachers have often been found to state strong preferences for certain types of learners (e.g., over- or underachievers, passive or aggressive, achievement oriented, similar backgrounds, etc.)
  • Students who receive more personalized and positive attention from teachers seem to do better
Peer expectations can also affect student performance

1) How do teachers’s expectations of students change over time and experience?
2) Do the expectations of teachers and ways in which they communicate these expectation vary with experience, local context and other factors?

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