The power of expectations


My friend Larry Ferlazzo posted this; I think all teachers can benefit from watching this short video, The Power OF Expectations. And I couldn’t agree more. I know the principals in my district have been introduced to Carol Dweck and her research on mindset. Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has spent her career studying motivation, personality, and development. Decades of research led Dweck to identify two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. People with fixed mindsets view talent as a quality they either have or do not have. Carol Dweck has also spent time explaining the three biggest misconceptions people have about her theory of “growth mindset”.

1. “That mindset is a simple concept. It’s not – it’s embedded in a whole theory about the psychology of challenge-seeking and persistence.
2. “That it’s easy to implement. It isn’t. It’s really hard to pass a growth mindset on to others and create a growth mindset culture. It’s not about educators giving a mindset lecture or putting up a poster – it’s about embodying it in all their practices.
3. “That a growth mindset denies the importance of talent. It doesn’t. A growth mindset is simply the belief that talents and abilities can be developed.”

Do you think that the private thoughts in your head could influence how other people — or creatures — act? The answer is “Of course not,” right? Because to say yes would be to admit you believe in mind control or telekinesis or some other phenomenon usually reserved for superhero comic books.

Robert Rosenthal is most known for his research and studies conducted on experimenter expectancy effects, which is the influence that a researcher can have on the outcome of an experiment (“Rosenthal’s Work”, n.d.). The first notable study that he worked on was with Fode in 1963. Rosenthal and Fode had two groups of students test rats; these rats were categorized as being bred “maze bright” or “maze dull,” even though, in reality, they were all standard lab rats and not specially bred one way or the other.

If you are a teacher asks yourself this questions before you watch the video: does your behavior and expectations towards your students have an impact on their performance?




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