Teacher Motivation: Expectations and Efficacy
Miss Bailey, a language arts teacher in a high poverty middle school believes "The average student, no matter what his social or economic status, wants to be better when he leaves the classroom than when he walked in.... I try to provide the tools for them to do that. I teach every student like I was teaching the president of the United States ... when more than half of our students are at risk, we are all at risk. -- Rust ( 1992, pp. IG, 6G)
How does a teachers' confidence affect their teaching practice and student motivation and achievement? This chapter focuses on two related areas that reflect teacher confidence: teacher expectations and teacher efficacy. Teacher expectations deal with what teachers expect students will be able to accomplish. Teacher efficacy refers to a teacher's confidence about teaching in a way that can bring about student achievement.
Since the publication of Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson's ( 1968) Pygmalion in the Classroom, the topic of teacher expectations and self-fulfilling prophecy has been of great interest and controversy. The Rosenthal-Jacobson research was designed to manipulate teacher expectations and determine if these manipulations affected student achievement. Students were given a general achievement test, but teachers were told that it was a test that would identify certain students as late bloomers -- students who would make large achievement gains during the year. In fact, the students identified