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Teacher expectations: The influence of student, teacher, and school variables

Dissertation
Author: Azucena Rangel
Abstract:
This dissertation examines the influence of student, teacher, and school variables on English and math teachers' expectations for their students. Findings from multilevel-model analyses of data from the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS: 2002) show that student achievement and stigmatized status are the strongest predictors of teacher expectations. In this study, students could be stigmatized on any of three factors (ethnicity, SES, and native language). Consistent with previous research, teachers' expectations were predicted by student achievement (test scores in reading and math). Teachers' expectations for future student academic attainment were higher for students with higher achievement than for lower-achieving students. This lends support to the argument that teachers are generally accurate in forming expectations. However, also consistent with prior research, student stigmatized status predicted expectations, with stigmatized students receiving lower expectations than non-stigmatized students. Multiple stigmatizations were powerful- students stigmatized on all three factors, in particular, received the lowest expectations. Further analyses indicated that student achievement interacts with student stigmatization for English teachers. At low levels of achievement, teachers held equally low expectations for stigmatized (on three factors) and non-stigmatized students. But, for high levels of achievement, teachers had lower expectations for stigmatized students with equally high achievement. Specifically, stigmatized students (on three factors) received expectations that were a half of a standard deviation lower than non-stigmatized students. Teacher ethnicity also appeared to influence teacher expectations via an interaction between teacher ethnicity and student stigmatization (on three factors). For English teachers, expectations were equally high for (a) ethnically stigmatized teachers rating stigmatized students, (b) stigmatized teachers rating non-stigmatized students, and (c) non-stigmatized teachers rating non-stigmatized students. The lowest expectations came from non-stigmatized teachers (White and Asian) rating stigmatized students. These findings (which control for student achievement) suggest bias in expectations that non-stigmatized teachers have for stigmatized students. School level variables in this study (e.g., percent of students receiving free/reduced lunch, percent of students who fail the competency test on first attempt), did not have a large effect on teacher expectations. Implications are discussed regarding multiply stigmatized students, self-fulfilling prophecy, equal access to educational opportunities, and recruitment of ethnic minority teachers.

Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction ............................................................................................1 Self-Fulfilling Prophecy................................................................2 Multiple Stigmatizations ...............................................................5 Teacher Characteristics .................................................................6 School Characteristics ...................................................................6 Chapter 2: Review of the Literature........................................................................8 Basis of Expectations ....................................................................8 Correct Teacher Predictions and Implications ............................13 Accuracy. ....................................................................................14 Perceptual bias. ...........................................................................14 Self-fulfilling prophecy. ..............................................................15 Communicating Expectations .....................................................16 Stigmatized Students ...................................................................20 Multiple Stigmatizations .............................................................24 Teacher Characteristics ...............................................................25 School Characteristics .................................................................27 Research Questions & Hypotheses .............................................29 Chapter 3: Methods ................................................................................................32 The Data ......................................................................................32 Variables Included ......................................................................35 Created Variables ........................................................................37

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Analysis.......................................................................................40 Student predictors of expectations. .............................................41 Teacher predictors of expectations. ............................................42 School predictors of expectations. ..............................................43 Chapter 4: Results ..................................................................................................45 Descriptive Statistics ...................................................................45 Student Predictors of Expectations .............................................50 Multiple Stigmatizations .............................................................55 Teacher Predictors of Expectations ............................................57 School Predictors of Expectations ..............................................60 Chapter 5: Discussion ............................................................................................66 Limitations and Directions for Future Research .........................70 Appendix ................................................................................................................73 References ..............................................................................................................82 Vita…. ....................................................................................................................88

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Chapter 1: Introduction

Equal access to high quality education is arguably the most important component of a meritocratic educational system. Concerns, though, have been raised about the extent to which this is a reality in the United States. This is especially the case for students from low-income or minority backgrounds. There is continued concern about the Black-White and Latino-White achievement gaps (Ferguson, 2003; Glen, 2006; Goldsmith, 2004; Viadero, 2008) and the failure of schools to provide equal and high quality educational opportunities to minority students (Kozol, 1991; Moreno, 1999; Valencia, 2002). Inequalities in educational outcomes have been argued to be a result of student’s experience’s before entering school, school segregation, funding inequalities between schools, tracking practices and school climate (Goldsmith; Lucas & Berends, 2007; Roscigno, 1998; Valencia, 2002; Wenglinsky, 2004). One of the more subtle ways that inequalities surface is through the process of teacher expectancy effects. Teachers sometimes hold lower academic expectations for their low-income and minority students than for their middle- or upper-income, White counterparts (Dusek & Joseph, 1983; Jussim, 1986; Tenenbaum & Ruck, 2007). Furthermore, years of research and debate on teacher expectations and expectancy effects have suggested that it is possible for teachers’ expectations to influence their teaching behavior, which can, in turn, affect student learning (Cooper & Tom, 1984; Jussim & Harber, 2005; McKown & Weinstein, 2002; Rist, 1970).

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The process begins when teachers form academic expectations of their students (based on student characteristics such as prior achievement or demographic information), and subsequently teach in a way consistent with those expectations (see Figure 1). Because of expectations, teachers may offer high quality learning experiences (e.g. teach more challenging material, give more helpful feedback, etc.) to students they believe have the potential to succeed or neglect students they feel do not have the capacity to achieve. Thus, through differential treatment, teacher behavior can affect student learning and student achievement. Figure 1. The process of teacher expectancy effects. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy When a teacher forms an erroneous expectation for a student the potential for a self-fulfilling prophecy arises. For a self-fulfilling prophecy to occur, the teacher’s false and inflexible expectation leads to teacher behavior which affects student learning and performance (Brophy & Good, 1970; Jussim, 1986). The consequences of self-fulfilling prophecies may be serious if teachers base academic expectations of students on negative stereotypes (e.g., ethnicity or SES) and form mistakenly low expectations for these students. Through self-fulfilling prophecies teachers could inadvertently obstruct achievement for entire groups of stereotyped students. Student Factors (Achievement, Demographics) Teacher Expectations Teacher Behavior Student Outcomes (Learning, Achi evement)

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This possibility became a fear during the civil rights era of the 1960’s, especially in the context of desegregation of schools, when ethnic minority students were entering previously all White schools. Furthermore, these students were entering the classrooms of White teachers who were, for the first time, being exposed to students of color. Specifically, people worried that teachers might expect poor performance from certain students based on social rather than academic reasons and subsequently “cause” low achievement in those students through self-fulfilling prophecy. If this were to occur, the education system as a whole could reproduce existing structural inequalities (Levinson & Holland, 1996). With social justice concerns in mind, research on teacher expectation effects has flourished. In a recent review of the past 35 years of research on the topic, Jussim and Harber (2005) concluded that “self-fulfilling prophecies in the classroom do occur, but these effects are typically small” (p. 131). Critics of teacher expectancy effects suggest that teachers are good at predicting student performance primarily because they are accurate at judging ability, not because they influence performance via self-fulfilling prophecies (Brophy, 1983; Jussim, 1989; Jussim & Harber). There seems to be consistent evidence that self-fulfilling prophecies in the classroom do exist, however, several reviews have suggested that effect sizes are consistently small, suggesting that although statistical significance may be reached, there is probably not much practical effect (Brophy, 1983; Jussim, 1989; Jussim & Eccles, 1992; Jussim & Harber).

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An important caveat in the research, however, suggests that for specific student populations teacher expectation effects may be larger. Certain groups of students can be described as “stigmatized” (Jussim, Eccles, & Madon, 1996) in that these students belong to groups historically stereotyped to have poor academic performance (e.g., African American and Latino students or low-SES students; Valencia, 1997). One study focused on just such students (Jussim et al.). The authors concluded that teacher expectations for stigmatized students produced a large self-fulfilling prophecy effect size (0.6) especially in comparison to the small effect sizes (around 0.1 or 0.2) found for non-stigmatized students. Therefore, there is evidence that in the realm of teacher expectations and self- fulfilling prophecy, stigmatized students may experience more of an effect than non- stigmatized students. One ongoing debate is whether teachers do, in fact, base their expectations on demographic factors such as ethnicity or socioeconomic status (SES) or if they rely on achievement indicators to form expectations. Some argue that teachers are generally accurate in forming expectations of their students (Jussim, 1989). “Accurate” in this sense refers to teachers’ ability to predict future performance without influencing it and to basing expectations on student achievement rather than unrelated demographic factors (such as ethnicity or economic background). Researchers have subsequently attempted to estimate the impact of achievement and other demographic factors on teacher expectations (Dusek & Joseph, 1983, Jussim, 1986; Tenenbaum & Ruck, 2007). In a review of self-fulfilling prophecy, Jussim (1986) listed several factors that have been

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shown to influence expectations including “physical appearance, race, social class, early performance, ethnicity, sex, speech style, and diagnostic label” (pp. 431). Teachers sometimes base expectations on past student achievement or perceived motivation. Sometimes, too, teachers are influenced by student characteristics such as ethnicity, SES, gender, or attractiveness when forming expectations. In fact, evidence suggests that both achievement and social factors influence teacher expectations (Brophy,1983; Dusek & Joseph; Jussim, 1989). Multiple Stigmatizations Some researchers have compared teacher expectations and expectancy effects for White students and African American students or for high- versus low-SES students (Jussim et al., 1996; McKown & Weinstein, 2002). In reality, though, students can, and oftentimes, do belong to more than one of these stigmatized groups (i.e. ethnic minority and low SES). The question then arises of whether the effect of stigmatization on teacher expectations is cumulative, such that a student who is stigmatized on two or three factors is more affected than a student who is stigmatized on only one factor. Only one study has investigated multiple stigmatizations. Jussim et al. looked at the impact of multiple stigmatizations on expectancy effects. They found that being stigmatized on two factors (either gender and SES or gender and ethnicity) was “a double vulnerability” (p. 315), although they did not specify if one combination had a stronger effect than the other.

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Teacher Characteristics Although not widely researched, it is also interesting to investigate whether teacher characteristics impact the formation of teacher expectations. Although some researchers have investigated the effect of personality traits on expectations, there is limited research on how teacher demographic variables influence expectations and expectancy effects (Cooper & Tom, 1984; Ehrenberg, Goldhaber, & Brewer, 1995). For instance, it might be expected that teacher ethnicity will not influence expectations because all teachers, regardless of ethnicity, are exposed to the same academic stereotypes and could form similar expectations of their stigmatized students. Conversely, it is possible that African American and Latino teachers are more sensitive to stereotypes, might not allow student stigmatization to result in lowered expectations, and might be more effective teachers of African American and Latino students (Ehrenberg et al.; Goldsmith, 2004). In addition, teacher experience could influence expectancy effects with early and veteran teachers differing in the way they form expectations or in their resulting behavior. Similarly, teacher sex and age may be related to teacher expectations. These characteristics have not been investigated in relation to expectation formation. School Characteristics Some have argued that school characteristics can influence teacher expectations and, accordingly, researchers have investigated how the student composition of a school can determine “how teachers evaluate and behave toward students” (Diamond, Randolph, & Spillane, 2004, p.76). Specifically, Diamond et al. argue that expectations of students

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are communicated through “organizational habitus.” In other words, “expectations of students become embedded” at the school level (p. 75). If this is the case, then the concentration of low-income, minority students in schools with limited resources could lead to institutionally lower expectations and lower quality education for these stigmatized students (Daimond et al.; Roscigno, 1998). Therefore, it is important to investigate whether school level factors (such as the percentage of students on a free lunch program – a proxy for SES) are related to teacher expectations. These concerns build the foundation for this study and lead to the following research questions: 1. To what extent do student achievement and demographic factors influence teacher expectations? 2. Are the effects of multiple stigmatizations greater than single stigmatizations on teacher expectations? 3. Do teacher demographic variables influence teacher expectations? 4. Do school characteristics influence teacher expectations?

In this study I investigate teacher expectations using the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS 2002) dataset, a multilevel study sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Data come from multiple respondents including approximately 16,000 students across the nation, their parents, their teachers, and their schools. Using these data and hierarchical linear modeling, I address the aforementioned research questions.

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Chapter 2: Review of the Literature

Recall that in the process of teacher expectancy effects, teachers first form expectations for their students based on student characteristics. Teachers then behave and teach in ways that are consistent with those expectations, and those teacher behaviors can impact student learning and achievement. This study focuses on the formation of teacher expectations but has implications for later stages in the process. If we are concerned about the dangers of social reproduction and the role that teacher expectations play in that process, then understanding the bases of teacher expectations is a key step. If teachers form inflexible and negative expectations for stigmatized students based on stereotypes rather than on more individualized information about the student then they are more likely to produce the negative self-fulfilling prophecies that lead to social reproduction. Basis of Expectations Because of the centrality of the issue to self-fulfilling prophecies and student achievement, teacher expectations and the basis of those expectations have been key concerns. Oftentimes there is an assumption that teachers’ expectations are biased by racial stereotypes (Ferguson, 2003). Starting in the 1960’s, researchers began investigating teacher expectations, focusing on the influence of factors such as race, physical attractiveness, sex, SES, and cumulative folder information (Adams & Cohen,

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1976; Bergan & Smith, 1966; DeMeis & Turner, 1978; Deitz & Purkey, 1969; Lenkowsky & Blackman, 1968). A meta-analysis by Dusek & Joseph (1983) was the first to investigate the information that teachers use to form expectations. They found a variety of factors that influenced expectations. First, they concluded that student attractiveness influenced teacher expectancies for academic performance and for social/personality attributes, with higher expectations going to more attractive students. The authors suggested, however, that while physical attractiveness may be important for initial expectancies, other information (such as achievement or conduct) may become more important over time. Student cumulative folder information was another variable that influenced expectations. In the studies included in the meta-analysis, cumulative folder information included information such as attentiveness, obedience, work habits, academic achievement, grades, IQ, psychological characteristics, and family background information (Adams & Cohen, 1976; Yoshida & Meyers, 1975). Teachers held higher expectations for students who had more positive information in their cumulative folder. Although cumulative folder information influenced teacher expectancies on the whole, it seemed that not all sources of information were seen as equally reliable by teachers (Shavelson, Cadwell, & Izu, 1977). Unlike cumulative folder information, the meta-analysis suggested that student gender was not a basis of teacher expectations for general academic performance. On the other hand, family economic background was a significant predictor of expectations.

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Dusek & Jospeh (1983) concluded, “clearly, social class is a basis of teacher expectancies” (p. 336), even though there was a stronger relationship for elementary school teachers than for secondary school teachers. Finally, the authors concluded that the race of a student influenced teacher expectations. “The results of these studies indicate that race is a significant factor in the formation of teacher expectancies. Black students and Mexican [American] students are expected to perform less well than white students” (p.336). In conclusion, Dusek & Joseph’s meta-analysis concluded that “student attractiveness, conduct, cumulative folder information, race and social class were related to teacher expectancies” (p. 327). Teachers tended to form higher academic expectations for more attractive students whereas lower-income and minority students (in this case African American and Mexican American students) were expected to perform less well than middle-class and White students. A more recent meta-analysis of teacher expectations was conducted by Tenenbaum & Ruck (2007) and supported earlier findings. They concluded that, in terms of ethnicity, teachers expected the most from Asian American and White students and expected less from Latino and African American students. Specifically, teachers held significantly more positive expectations for Asian American students than for White students (effect size: d = -.17) and held more positive expectations for White students compared to Latino and African American students (effect size: d = .46 and d = .25 respectively). The authors also found small but significant effects suggesting that teachers made more positive academic/behavioral referrals and fewer negative referrals,

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and provided more positive and neutral speech to White students than for African American and Latino students. They concluded, “In general, these findings substantiate [the idea] that teachers hold more positive expectations for European American children than for African American and Latino/a children” (p. 267). Jussim (1986) was also interested in the factors that influence teacher expectations and behavior. He stated, Because most teachers are white, middle class, and relatively articulate, in many classrooms, students with similar characteristics will be liked more. Race, economic class (as indicated through personal appearance), and speech style are three immediately available and salient cues... Thus these factors are likely to have substantial impact on liking, at least in initial interactions. ( p. 436)

In their meta-analysis of factors that influence expectations, Tenenbaum & Ruck (2007) also compared geographic regions of the United States. They tried to determine if the extent to which teacher expectations were based on ethnicity varied across study location. They found that in New York City teachers did not show differences in expectation or referrals for African American and White students but, differences were seen in studies that took place in the South and in Florida. Overall, Tenenbaum & Ruck found the greatest differences in expectations for White and ethnic minority students in the South, whereas the smallest differences were seen in the Midwest, although, they did not offer an explanation for these results.

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An ongoing debate in the literature on teacher expectations is the extent to which teachers base expectations on student demographic factors and/or achievement indicators. Preferably, teachers would base expectations on “legitimate” academic factors rather than social stereotypes. Some researchers argue that teachers are generally accurate in forming expectations (Brophy, 1983) whereas, others suggest that teachers do use student characteristics (such as ethnicity or SES) in forming expectations (Dusek & Joseph, 1983; Jussim, 1986; Tenenbaum & Ruck, 2007). In other words, there is controversy about whether teachers are biased in forming expectations. Investigating ethnic bias, Ferguson (2003) described three ways that expectations can be race neutral (if not race neutral, then expectations would be considered biased). First, expectations that are “unconditionally racial neutral,” are defined as completely uncorrelated with race (research shows that this is not the case). According to this definition, any correlation at all between race and expectations would be considered bias. Under the second type of race neutrality, “racial neutrality conditioned on observables,” expectations are unbiased if they are based on legitimate predictors of performance (such as prior achievement), even if expectations are associated with race. If there is a correlation between ethnicity and expectations that is above and beyond “legitimate” academic predictors, then bias would be assumed. With the third type, “racial neutrality conditioned on potential,” expectations are based on potential. However, given the impossibility of determining future potential, this is a theoretical concept. Usually, when researchers discuss bias, they are referring to the second type. They want to allow

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teachers to base expectations on legitimate predictors (i.e. past achievement or current academic performance) but not on racial stereotypes. Therefore, an effort has been made to determine the extent to which student academic and demographic factors influence expectations (Ferguson). Jussim (1986) listed several factors that have been shown to influence expectations including “physical appearance, race, social class, early performance, ethnicity, sex, speech style, and diagnostic label” (p. 431). However, he also pointed out that it is difficult to determine the accuracy of teachers’ initial expectations. Some evidence suggests a “great deal of inaccuracy” in initial expectations (Jussim, 1986, p. 431). Other research suggests that most of the time teacher expectations are accurate and even when they are not initially accurate, teachers are open to corrective feedback from the student (Brophy, 1983). For instance, Brophy asserts that in non-laboratory, school settings with in-service teachers, “teacher perceptions of students are accurate and based on the best available information, and that most of the inaccurate ones are corrected when more dependable information becomes available” (Brophy, p. 636). Correct Teacher Predictions and Implications Evidence suggests that teachers develop expectations for their students’ performance early on in their interactions (Dusek & Joseph, 1983; Jussim, 1986; Jussim, 1989). Moreover, many times students confirm these expectations (Brophy & Good, 1974; Williams 1976). For example, at the beginning of the school year, if a teacher expects a student to receive an “A” in his/her class and the student’s final grade is an

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“A,” then the teacher’s prediction was correct. In examining the relation between teacher predictions and student performance, however, it is important to understand that there are several reasons why a student’s performance could confirm a teacher’s expectation. Jussim (1989) laid out the following three possible explanations: Accuracy One way to explain why a teacher’s expectation might be confirmed is that the teacher is able to predict student performance accurately. In this case, a teacher can predict a student’s performance without influencing it. In other words, it is suggested that teachers are capable of identifying traits and behaviors that tend to lead to success. Teachers then use this knowledge to estimate how well a student will perform in his/her class. If this were to occur then the teacher would predict, but not cause student achievement. Perceptual bias A second explanation advanced by Jussim (1989) for why teacher predictions could be confirmed is that the teacher’s expectations may lead to perceptual biases. That is, teachers interpret, perceive, remember or explain a student’s actions in a way that is consistent with their expectations. For instance, a teacher may base his/her evaluation of a student on his/her expectations rather than on the student’s performance. If a teacher expects good things from a student, then s/he sees only positive behavior and performance on the part of the student. In other words the “success” of the student is in

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the mind of the teacher. If this is the case, we might expect teacher-assigned grades to be affected but “objective” achievement should not be influenced by teacher expectations. Self-fulfilling prophecy Finally, according to Jussim (1989), a teacher’s prediction of student performance might be right because teachers produce self-fulfilling prophecies. The concept of self- fulfilling prophecy dates back to 1948 when the sociologist Robert Merton first introduced the term. He proposed that “the self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true” (p.195). In other words, it is an instance in which a person’s false belief or expectation causes him/her to act in such a way that makes the expectation a reality. There are a wide variety of applications of self-fulfilling prophecy, including medicine, economics, and laboratory research. Applying the idea of self-fulfilling prophecy to the teacher-student relationship, researchers wondered whether a teacher who falsely believes that a student is “smart” will treat the student in such a way that enhances her ability to learn, thus improving her performance. Conversely, teachers could teach in way that inhibits the learning ability of a student who received low expectations. As discussed earlier, this could occur when a teacher makes an initial rigid and erroneous judgment about a student’s ability and subsequently treats the student in a way that evokes behavior that is consistent with the initial judgment. In this case the teacher’s expectation actually causes him/her to teach in such a way that elicits the expected performance from the student.

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Although many studies focus on self-fulfilling prophecy, there is evidence suggesting that accuracy, perceptual bias, and self-fulfilling prophecy explanations are at work (Jussim, 1989; Kolb & Jussim, 1994). Jussim concluded that although teachers sometimes produce self-fulfilling prophecies, in most instances expectations predict student performance primarily because teacher expectations are accurate rather than because expectancies create reality (Jussim, 1989; Jussim & Harber, 2005). Communicating Expectations In order for a self-fulfilling prophecy to occur, a teacher must not only form inaccurate expectations but must also act on those expectations. The question then arises of how, exactly, teaching behavior can influence student outcomes. Some researchers have focused on how expectations are explicitly or implicitly communicated to a student in such a way that it influences the student’s performance (Brophy & Good, 1970; Harris & Rosenthal, 1985; Rist, 1970). An early and classic study on teacher expectations, teacher behavior, and student outcomes was conducted by Rist (1970). His longitudinal, ethnographic, research investigated the process by which a teacher’s expectations impacted the students’ access to high quality education. Ethnicity, in this study, was irrelevant in influencing teacher expectations because all the students and the teachers were African American. Rist described how, on the eighth class day, a kindergarten teacher divided her class into three tables, based on expectations of success or failure. The teacher’s expectations and separation of students into ability groups seemed to be based on student appearance and

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SES because up to that point, there had been “no formal testing of the children as to their academic potential or capacity for cognitive development” (Rist, p. 422). In fact, the teacher’s expectations were perfectly aligned with student SES and appearance. Upper- and middle-SES students were expected to succeed while the lower-SES students received low expectations. In Rist’s (1970) study, differential treatment between tables was dramatic in both attitude towards students and actual teaching of students. The teacher focused her attention on the high expectation students and they had direct access to her. For instance, the high expectation students were seated at the table closest to the teacher and the low expectation students were seated further away, toward the back of the classroom. Rist described how the low expectation students learned through “secondary learning” – knowledge was not gained through direct interaction with the teacher but through mediation of peers and also “through listening to the teacher though she was not speaking to them” (Rist, p. 427). Specifically, “lack of communication with the teacher, lack of involvement in the class activities and infrequent instruction all characterized the situation of the children at Tables 2 and 3” (p. 425). Sometimes, the students at Table 3 could not see the material on the board. For instance, the teacher “instructs Lily to put her feet under the table… Now she is facing directly away from the teacher and the blackboard where the teacher is demonstrating to the students how to print the letter “O” (p. 425). Clearly, the students from different tables were not only treated differently but had real differences in their access to learning – some were actually ordered to look away

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from the board during instruction. Rist followed these students through second grade and witnessed the enduring impact of expectations, with essentially no academic mobility for the students. The results of the Rist (1970) study were very surprising because (a) the teacher made initial assessments and seating assignments based on non-academic factors, (b) these seating assignments afforded students vastly differential treatment and impacted their opportunity to learn and, (c) the seating assignments were virtually permanent with ‘bright’ students nearly never being demoted and ‘slow’ students nearly never having the opportunity to move up. This study gave a vivid picture of the process by which a teacher’s expectations influence the experience and outcomes of the students. Other researchers have also investigated the process by which expectations can be communicated and realized (Cooper & Tom, 1984). For instance, Harris & Rosenthal (1985) described four important factors that allowed for communication of expectations including socioemotional climate (smiling, eye contact, friendly, and supportive behavior), verbal input (greater quantity and more difficult material presented), verbal output (number of contacts, time spent talking, clues), and feedback (praise and criticism). In addition, a meta-analysis of mediation in expectancy effects identified teacher behaviors that could influence student performance (Harris & Rosenthal). The researchers focused on positive expectations and concluded that there were 16 important behaviors in which teachers could engage that would help students succeed. By carrying out these behaviors teachers could enhance their student’s ability to learn:

Full document contains 98 pages
Abstract: This dissertation examines the influence of student, teacher, and school variables on English and math teachers' expectations for their students. Findings from multilevel-model analyses of data from the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS: 2002) show that student achievement and stigmatized status are the strongest predictors of teacher expectations. In this study, students could be stigmatized on any of three factors (ethnicity, SES, and native language). Consistent with previous research, teachers' expectations were predicted by student achievement (test scores in reading and math). Teachers' expectations for future student academic attainment were higher for students with higher achievement than for lower-achieving students. This lends support to the argument that teachers are generally accurate in forming expectations. However, also consistent with prior research, student stigmatized status predicted expectations, with stigmatized students receiving lower expectations than non-stigmatized students. Multiple stigmatizations were powerful- students stigmatized on all three factors, in particular, received the lowest expectations. Further analyses indicated that student achievement interacts with student stigmatization for English teachers. At low levels of achievement, teachers held equally low expectations for stigmatized (on three factors) and non-stigmatized students. But, for high levels of achievement, teachers had lower expectations for stigmatized students with equally high achievement. Specifically, stigmatized students (on three factors) received expectations that were a half of a standard deviation lower than non-stigmatized students. Teacher ethnicity also appeared to influence teacher expectations via an interaction between teacher ethnicity and student stigmatization (on three factors). For English teachers, expectations were equally high for (a) ethnically stigmatized teachers rating stigmatized students, (b) stigmatized teachers rating non-stigmatized students, and (c) non-stigmatized teachers rating non-stigmatized students. The lowest expectations came from non-stigmatized teachers (White and Asian) rating stigmatized students. These findings (which control for student achievement) suggest bias in expectations that non-stigmatized teachers have for stigmatized students. School level variables in this study (e.g., percent of students receiving free/reduced lunch, percent of students who fail the competency test on first attempt), did not have a large effect on teacher expectations. Implications are discussed regarding multiply stigmatized students, self-fulfilling prophecy, equal access to educational opportunities, and recruitment of ethnic minority teachers.