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Instructional practices and classroom interactions of high and low expectation teachers in China

Abstract

This study aimed to explore and compare the instructional practices and classroom interactions of teachers within the Chinese junior high school context who had correspondingly high or low expectations for all their students. Eight junior high school teachers and their 32 lessons were observed. Results of classroom observations revealed that high expectation teachers (teachers who had overall high expectations for their students relative to student achievement) made more orientation/focus statements and more statements referring to students’ prior knowledge and learning experiences in their teaching compared with low expectation teachers (those with overall low expectations for their students relative to student achievement). High expectation teachers gave more class-level feedback and were more likely to question further and provide explanations when a student gave a correct answer. In situations when a student gave an incorrect answer or could not come up with an answer, high expectation teachers were more likely to give the student another chance by rephrasing/repeating the question, providing hints, or just asking the student to try again. These differences in high and low expectation teachers’ instructional behaviours and the socio-emotional environment they created in their classrooms are discussed and implications for classroom teaching and teacher training are proposed.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the teacher participants who generously shared their time and experience for the purposes of this study. Without their participation and cooperation, this study would not have been possible.

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Correspondence to Shengnan Wang.

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Wang, S., Rubie-Davies, C.M. & Meissel, K. Instructional practices and classroom interactions of high and low expectation teachers in China. Soc Psychol Educ 22, 841–866 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-019-09507-4

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Keywords

  • Teacher expectations
  • High expectation teachers
  • Low expectation teachers
  • Instructional practices
  • Classroom interactions
  • Chinese junior high schools