Teaching Smart vs. Not LO13539

prkosuth (prkosuth@mychoice.net)
Wed, 07 May 97 23:06:28 PDT

Replying to LO13512 --

Eric Bohlman wrote:

> Take a look at Robert Rosenthal's work on the "Pygmalion Effect." He
> conducted an experiment where he administered a standard IQ-type test to
> students in several classrooms, but told the teachers that it was actually
> a special test designed to identify "bloomers," students who could be
> expected to make signifificant gains in achievment during the school year.

> The basic lesson from Rosenthal's experiment is that in order for a group
> with an appointed "leader" to improve its performance, the leader must
> have high expectations for *everybody* in the group. If the leader has
> low expectations for some members, they will "drag down" the others, and
> members who do improve in spite of the low expectations put on them will
> be effectively punished.

I"d whole heartedly agree that one of the biggest determining factors of
student succccess are the expectations of teachers. I work with students
with quite severe learning disabilities. If they or I get it into our
heads that they cannot learn or make inroads on a certain topic then we
might as well pack up and go home. Ours is a residential scchool and it is
always interseting listening to parents speak about how well their
son/daughter is doing after 8 short weeks.. I large measure due to our
higher expectations of their performance and our belief that they really
are capable of learning. This then spills to both sovial, emotional

The impacts/correlations to management and staff
development/organizational learning are pretty apparent: people can learn
great things, do great things if they and we believe that its possible.

Brehm Preparatory School
Carbondale IL


"prkosuth" <prkosuth@mychoice.net>

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