Taking "Pygmalion" to an Extreme
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First, the authors of the above paper seem to be quite certain of what studies on the Pygmalion effect actually show. This is incorrect since most of the studies are not conclusive with regard to a causal relationship between expectations and performance. Take, for instance, the study cited at the end of the first paragraph above:
Jennifer Alvidrez and Rhonda S. Weinstein, “Early teacher perceptions and later student academic achievement,” Journal of Educational Psychology 91 (4) (1999): 731–746.Boser and coworkers are in fact stretching what Alvidrez and Weinstein have found in their research. One simply has to take note of one very important sentence that Alvidrex and Weinstein wrote in their conclusion, "Whether these relationships are prescient or influential cannot be answered by naturalistic studies like this." The fact that the level of expectations correlates with the level of performance does not necessarily mean that increasing expectations will lead to higher performance. Lee Jussim at Education.com writes a more thoughtful and carefully worded summation of the studies on the Pygmalion effect in Teacher Expectations:
First, teachers should take considerable comfort from the empirical evidence which, in contrast to some of the more extreme claims, shows that, in general, expectancy effects are small, fragile, and fleeting, rather than large, pervasive, and enduring. Second, any recommendation suggesting that teachers should simply adopt high expectations for all students would be oversimplified, unworkable, and probably dysfunctional. High expectations can work at raising student achievement, but only if they are backed up with the resources and institutional supports to do so.Teachers, like other human beings, can learn from experience. Year after year, they spend hundreds of days with their pupils. A teacher becomes much more than just acquainted with his or her students. It is thus incorrect to assume that a teachers' impression of a student has no basis. Of course, some impressions may be wrong, biased or incomplete. For this reason, the correlation is not perfect, but it does not discount the fact that the correlation between expectation and performance is simply due to a valid judgment. We cannot take away from teachers their ability to evaluate their students.
Carlo Cruz III has left a new comment on your post "Motivated to Learn Science":
Please read through the EPP curriculum (ICT part) for grade schools and you will be shocked. How can they implement this if most of the schools in the provinces don't have a single computer, or worse electricity?
Link to EPP curriculum
- to gather information from web sources by using search engines
- to use word processors and spreadsheets
- to write and send, and receive and read electronic mail
- to draw using graphics software
- to create documents with publishing tools