Teachers Expectation Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Teachers' Expectations


This research study will examine the impact of teachers' expectation on students' overall academic achievement. The research will be conducted at Huntington Park High School, located in the city of Huntington Park. It is one of the largest high schools in Los Angeles Unified School District and has an enrollment of over 5000 students with 3-track calendar. The ethnic backgrounds of the students consist of 98.6% Latino, 0.6% black and 0.3% white. The students of Huntington Park High School (HPHS) have not been challenged to perform to their best abilities. One of the reasons may be that the teachers perceive them as incapable and lacking motivation, and so they feel it is unfair or hopeless to expect more from the students. The subtle messages received from their teachers may make the students feel incapable of handling demanding work. This could also be a factor in the students' low self-esteem and motivation.

The purpose of this study is to determine if the teachers' expectation plays a major role on Latino students' academic achievement.

Null Hypothesis

There is a positive relationship between teachers' expectation and students' academic performance.

Alternative Hypothesis

There is not a positive relationship between teachers' expectation and students' academic performance.

Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is based on the researcher's commitment to education in general and to the students of the HPHS in particular. The author believes that raising expectation changes students' attitude toward school and encourages them to exert extra effort to meet the expectation and the API (state what API is) standard. As a teacher and a member of the institution of learning, the author has special interest in the outcome of the program and feels obligated to assist the students in order to achieve the state academic standard.

Literature Review preliminary review of the literature pertaining to teachers' expectation was conducted to support the present study. The literature helps to explain how teachers form expectations about the students on the basis of their previous experiences and how raising the expectations can influence students' academic achievement. The literature supports the author's belief that when teachers expect students to do well, they tend to do well; when teachers expect students to fail, they tend to fail.

Teachers normally try to make predictions about students and their academic performance or behavior on the first day of school. On the basis of prediction, teachers form expectations that seem to follow the notion of self-fulfilling prophecy. According to Brehm and Kassim (1996) the idea of self-fulfilling prophecy is that once we peg a student ahead of time as troublemaker, or non-scholar, or likely to be self-centered, and treat that student accordingly, the student will fall into our predicted category. That means our negative prophecies or expectations come true. Thomas (1928) suggested that the teachers should understand the term of self-fulfilling prophecy which states that if men define a situation as real, they are real in their consequences. Understanding how it works could help in reducing the effects on the students.

The 'Pygmalion in the classroom', (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968) is based on the idea that the teachers' expectations have a direct effect on students' academic performance. The authors further examine the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy and its effects on student behavior. The main argument of the book is that the expectation that teachers have about their students' behavior can unconsciously influence such behavior, and so also affect student academic performance. This influence or self-fulfilling prophecy could have negative or positive impact on the students. The authors believe that there is always a correlation between teachers' expectation and students' academic achievement.

To close the achievement gap between students who are making the grade and those who are not, teachers need to interrupt the self-fulfilling prophecy. One way to do that is to develop and express high expectations of the students. All teachers have high hopes and expectations for their students. However, some use a better approach in communicating their expectations to the students. As a teacher, the researcher has noticed a tendency to expect less of those students who show little interest to learning. Or sometimes, in feeling sorry for students who face many disadvantages, the researcher also has the tendency of trying to reduce their responsibilities. But reducing the tasks and lowering the standards may not be advantageous to the students. Tauber (1997) explains that this may give them…

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