Teacher Expectations and Labeling

  • Christine Rubie-Davies
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 21)

The importance of teacher expectations in facilitating student learning has long been recognized. All teachers have expectations for their students, as they should. Expectations can facilitate the setting of achievable yet challenging targets for students. The general claim seems to be that where teachers believe that their students can meet targets and they provide appropriate learning opportunities and support, then their students are likely to achieve the goals and improve academic achievement.

The reality of a positive relationship between teachers' expectations and outcomes for students, however, appears to rely on a range of variables including teacher behaviors, teacher characteristics and student characteristics. This chapter will provide a brief history of the expectation research and then focus on the differential behaviors that have been associated with teachers as they interact with their high and low expectation students. This will be followed by an outline of various student characteristics proposed as influencing teachers' expectations. The final sections of the chapter will explore some teacher characteristics and possible relationships with their expectations; these sections will consider how teachers' expectations for some groups of students may result in differential opportunities to learn — the crux of the teacher expectation issue.


Preservice Teacher Student Characteristic Teacher Characteristic Teacher Expectation Instructional Environment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Rubie-Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Teaching, Learning and Development, Faculty of EducationThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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