2011 High Expectations

High Expectations

Students will achieve what is expected of them! Expectations are high when teachers communicate the expectation that all students can learn important knowledge and skills that are challenging for them. Students are encouraged and recognised for taking conceptual or other risks in learning. Expectations are also high when students at all levels are expected, and try,to master challenging work whether the challenge is intellectual, physical orperformance-based.

High-performing schools show evidence that each teacher believes β€œall students can learn and I can teach them.” Staff members are dedicated to helping every student achieve challenging state and local standards. All students are engaged in an appropriately ambitious and rigorous course of study in which the high standards of performance are clear and consistent and the conditions for learning are modified and differentiated. This results in all students being prepared for success in the workplace, postsecondary education, and civic responsibilities.


Schilling andSchilling (1999) assert that expectations are vital to education:
β€˜... expectations shape the learning experience very powerfully. For example, classic studies in the psychology literature have found that merely stating an expectation results in enhanced performance, that higher expectations result in higher performance, and that persons with high expectations perform at a higher level than those with low expectations, even though their measured abilities are equal.’

High expectations may give rise to the "Pygmalion effect," a transformation in belief and behavior that can change a low-expectations student into a successful learner. Tauber (1998) states that 'few educatorsunderstand exactly how to use the Pygmalion effect or self-fulfilling prophecy(SFP) as a purposeful pedagogical tool to convey positive expectations.' Tauber cites factors that teachers could use to advance higher expectations:
  • a "climate" conducive to learning must be created; this is often communicated non-verbally;
  • affective and cognitive "feedback" must be provided to learners;
  • "input" is increased as teachers teach more to students of whom they expect more; and
  • "Output" is also increased as teachers encourage greater responsiveness from students for whom they hold high-expectations.

High expectations of all learners involve:
  • all teachers taking an active role in supporting and monitoring students' progress;
  • communicating expectations about achievement levels for all students; and
  • providing students with intellectual challenge.

High expectations of all learners are in evidence when teachers:
  • articulate a belief that all students can challenge and extend their learning;
  • guide students to identify and focus on their abilities and to build on these to achieve progress;
  • access and analyse school-level and student-level data to use for planning for and monitoring optimal learning opportunities for students;
  • establish appropriate expectations for improved levels of achievement and ensure that these are clearly and consistently communicated to all students; and
  • encourage and support all students to set high personal learning goals which will progress their learning.

Over the holidays please read these two short articles on the importance of high expectations and look at the two articles. Begin to plan the class you will target and the assessment task that you will use to gauge the impact of your learning.
High Expectations High Expectations

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