Setting High Academic Expectations

Setting High Expectations

This is a synopsis for a chapter first published in Teach Like a Champion, 2013. It is entitled “Setting High Academic Expectations”. The chapter can be accessed at the Teach Like A Champion website, or here.

This chapter of ‘Teach like a Champion” examines 5 different techniques for raising academic expectations in the classroom.

High expectations, research has demonstrated, lead to higher results through the ‘Pygmalion’ effect – that is, a student will become what is expected of them.

If a culture of low expectations is in place, the students in this classroom will achieve to the expectations set – so not very highly. The five techniques outlined in the chapter are extremely strong in their pedagogical value.

Firstly, the article outlines the ‘No Opt Out’ technique, which means that students who avoid or do not know answers to classroom questions cannot get away with not providing the correct answer sooner or later.

Secondly, the ‘Right is Right’ technique is implemented, where students can no longer get away with providing a partially correct answer, they must fill in the gaps they are missing – this is no longer the teacher’s job. This creates high expectations in the classroom.

The ‘Stretch It’ approach is the next one to be included, and states that teachers should aim to take a 100% correct answer and stretch it so that deeper knowledge can be accessed.

The fourth technique is called ‘Format Matters’ and asks students to self-correct the mistakes they make in speaking and writing.

The final technique is entitled ‘No Apologies’ and asks teachers to make no apology for the content in their classroom. They should not state that the content is boring, or that the levels of disengagement in the class are due to the content. Therefore, the teacher should always look to their teaching practice and have higher expectations for it.

What are your thoughts about this approach? Leave your comments below…

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