ERIC Number: ED225646
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec-15
Reference Count: 0
Galatea in the Classroom: The Distribution of Teacher-Pupil Interaction and Its Relationship to Class-Size.
Hill, William C.
If what is known about selective processes of perception is coupled with awareness of the extremely rapid pace of classroom interaction, the classroom setting becomes one in which differential teacher expectations are likely to be formed and maintained. In fact, research findings reveal the power of teacher expectations: high teacher expectations can increase student achievement and low expectations can actually decrease achievement. Attempts to alter the communication of differential expectations by retraining teachers have generally been successful, but have been found to be quite expensive. Student achievement is also influenced by class size. Research findings indicate that a student achieving at the 50th percentile in a class of 40, if instructed in a group consisting of 1 to 5 students, is likely to achieve at the 83rd percentile or higher. Because this achievement effect is specific to groups of 20 pupils or less, a "student threshold for achievement" concept of facilitative student-teacher interaction is supported. It is possible that in classes of 21 to 40 pupils, fewer students' thresholds for achievement are reached by teachers due to the much wider distribution of interaction. There are several procedural methods for equitably distributing interaction that teachers can use (1) to counter the reluctance of peripherally seated students to initiate interaction, and (2) to compensate for teacher expectancy behaviors. (Directions for further research are suggested.) (RH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Self Fulfilling Prophecies; Teacher Expectations