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R4C3 Expectations: Does the school support high staff and student expectations and aspire for excellence?

Learners benefit when significant others in their lives believe in them. Parental and teacher...

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Andrew Pollard
5 May 2010

Learners benefit when significant others in their lives believe in them. Parental and teacher expectations are particularly significant for children (Hattie, 2009) and are often based on judgements about capability and potential. Expectations are thus pervasively embedded in perception, relationships and everyday life. As such, although tacit, they may be particularly meaningful to learners and influential in the formation of self-belief. Expectations are thus a form of on-going, social assessment. When applied negatively to whole groups, then cultural expectations can present significant barriers to learning.

Because of its significance, raising expectations is a common recommendation for school improvement. To be effective, such expectations have to be authentic, because a connection has to be made with the self-belief of learners. Expectations are thus inevitably linked to the leadership of the school as a whole, and to the culture of the communities which it serves.

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