Loughborough University
Thesis-1983-Blease.pdf (6.19 MB)

Teacher expectations, their articulation and communication: a comparison of childrens' classroom experience in relation to the perceptions of their teachers

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posted on 2012-09-26, 15:22 authored by Derek Blease
This study attempts to illustrate the potency of the self-fulfilling prophecy effect by comparing teach~rs' perceptions with the incidence of certain highly significant aspects of their day-to-day interactions with their pupils. For this purpose a class·of twenty-four twelve year old children and their teachers .w.ere continuously observed during every lesson attended for a perio<;i of five weeks. Certain necessary conditions for the successful communication of teacher expectations were identified, and a clear qualitative difference in teacher-pupil contacts demonstrated between those pupils most favourably perceived and those least favourably perceived. The teachers' personal constructs, obtained using a triadic elicitation technique, formed the basis of three indepen?ent pupil-rating exercises based upon: (i) the teachers individual construct systems, (ii) a common set of the ten most commonly occurring constructs. and (iii) pupil self-rating using the same criteria as in (ii). Analysis of the teachers' ratings revealed an incomplete, though statistically significant degree of concordance between individual teachers' ratings. It is suggested that while the combined expectations of the whole teacher group may have a greater effect than those of any individual, the amount of disagreement may serve to reduce their effectiveness. Comparison of the teachers' ratings in the first two rating exercises revealed a high degree of. similarity, suggesting that the relative frequency of occurrence of individual teachers' personal constructs constitutes a firm and valid basis for the selection of constructs in supplied lists, particularly if they are to be used by those same teachers. Significant correlations between teacher ratings, the pupils' selfratings and their scores on Self-Esteem and Academic Self-Image scales indicate a significant and positive relationship between teacher perceptions on the one hand and the childrens' views of themselves on the other. However, the imperfect nature· of that relationship indicates that the transmission of teachers' expectations to the children is in many instances only partially successful. Cluster analysis of the teachers' ratings revealed those constructs which each teacher perceived. as being most alike, while examination of the most commonly occurring construct pairings indicated that, on a day-to-day basis, the teachers' made judgements according to three general groups of criteria: (i) "Maturity and attitude to school work", (ii) "Personality factors" and (iii) "Academic ability".



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A Master's Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of M.Phil. of the Louqhborough University of Technology, 1983.


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