Academic journal article Journal for Educational Research Online

Do Teacher Stereotypes about School Tracks Function as Expectations at the Collective Level and Do They Relate to the Perception of Obstacles in the Classroom and to Teachers' Self-Efficacy beliefs?/Stereotypen üBer Schulformen Als Erwartungen Von Lehrkräften Auf der Kollektiven Ebene - Zusammenhänge Mit Selbstwirksamkeitserwartungen Und Wahrgenommenen Schwierigkeiten Im Klassenzimmer

Academic journal article Journal for Educational Research Online

Do Teacher Stereotypes about School Tracks Function as Expectations at the Collective Level and Do They Relate to the Perception of Obstacles in the Classroom and to Teachers' Self-Efficacy beliefs?/Stereotypen üBer Schulformen Als Erwartungen Von Lehrkräften Auf der Kollektiven Ebene - Zusammenhänge Mit Selbstwirksamkeitserwartungen Und Wahrgenommenen Schwierigkeiten Im Klassenzimmer

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

To judge students in various domains is a typical aspect of teachers' professional activities. These diagnoses are fundamental to making professional decisions about appropriate teaching strategies, which sometimes have to rely on somewhat vague information, especially when a teacher starts to work with a class. This is of particular importance as teacher expectancies can influence students' development. Combining the results of eight meta-analyses (including 674 studies), Hattie (2009) showed a medium average effect of individual teacher expectancies on the actual intellectual development of students (d = .43). Nevertheless, effect sizes differ very much between studies: Individual expectancy effects are particularly high when teachers are given misleading information about students' capabilities prior to the substantial direct experience of students (Raudenbush, 1984). Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) were the first to report results on this so-called Pygmalion effect in the educational field. One important factor in the explanation of the individual Pygmalion effect is that teachers tend to adapt their interaction styles to their expectations (as summarized in a review by Jussim & Harber, 2005), which results in fewer learning opportunities for students with less positive prognoses.

1.1 Collective teacher expectations

There seems to be only little research on teachers' expectations of what their whole class or school is or is not going to achieve. This is especially surprising since Brophy claimed already 25 years ago that "differential teacher treatment of intact groups and classes may well be a much more widespread and powerful mediator of self-fulfilling prophecy effects on student achievement than differential teacher treatment of individual students within the same group or class" (Brophy, 1985, p. 309). A major amount of teaching time consists of interactions between the teacher and the class or other groups as a whole. Since human information processing capacities are limited, teachers are not able to observe all students for their individual characteristics all of the time. It is likely, therefore, that teachers will apply schemes at the group level because this kind of cognitive processing demands less cognitive capacity. Accordingly, teacher expectations regarding entire classes or even schools should have a strong impact on teachers' behaviour in the classroom and could lead to Pygmalion effects based on expectancies at group level. The few existing studies on such collective expectancy effects were mainly conducted by Rubie-Davies and colleagues. Their results indicate that if students believe the teacher to hold low class-level expectations, they may react by viewing themselves as less academically able (Rubie-Davies, 2006). They also reported that teachers with different class-level expectations showed different interaction styles in the classroom (Rubie-Davies, 2007) and that teachers with high self-reported classlevel expectations rated their students' attitude to work and social relationships more favourably (Rubie-Davies, 2010). These studies indicate that constructs at the collective level are promising targets for extended research on Pygmalion effects. Nevertheless, one crucial point is missing in the work of Rubie-Davies and her colleagues: They tried to identify the collective expectations of teachers by aggregating expectations regarding all individual students to a class mean. Accordingly, these studies did not apply direct measures to their investigation of teachers' judgements in the collective dimension. With "direct measurement" of expectancies in the collective dimension we mean that teachers are asked directly how they judge their class or school as a whole. From a social psychological point of view, individual profiles for each student and collective profiles of classes and the school can be assumed to be psychologically distinct dimensions. Since individual and collective expectancies cannot be determined perfectly by each other, they should be assessed as discrete constructs (for an overview of related aspects in social identity theory see Postmes & Branscombe, 2010). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.