September 18, 2012 by ConTextos


Yesterday Morning Edition on NPR published the story: Teachers’ Expectations Can Influence how Students Perform.

Research conducted by Harvard professor Robert Rosenthal in 1964 indicated that:

«expectations affect teachers’ moment-to-moment interactions with the children they teach in a thousand almost invisible ways. Teachers give the students that they expect to succeed more time to answer questions, more specific feedback, and more approval: They consistently touch, nod and smile at those kids more.»

Low expectations plague public education in El Salvador and throughout the region. Especially in areas with no tradition of literacy, low expectations for kids about reading and writing abound.

So, the question ConTextos and the Times share is: since expectations can change the performance of kids, how do we get teachers to have the right expectations? In El Salvador, ConTextos works with our teachers to raise expectations of students–and so students raise their expectations of themselves!

One of the key components of ConTextos’ innovative method is providing teachers the opportunity to experience success, not just read about theory. By joining teachers in their classroom, modeling, co-teaching and observing classes, teachers get to see that their students can go far beyond just copying and dictation, coming up with new, rich ideas. And through writing and conversation, teachers get to know their students’ potential and work from their to encourage them to thrive.

Read more blog posts about the details of our students’ and teachers’ successes. And read the whole NPR article or listen to the broadcast here.

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