High Expectation Teachers

Ensuring all students achieve success

Last Night I attended a lecture by Christine Rubie Davis on High Expectation Teachers. She was talking about her findings from a recent research project. What I took from this talk was that high expectation teachers:

use flexible student grouping (according to activity) and a variety of learning experiences.

Use assessment information to set goals for each student and support the student to achieve them through high expectations.
Students have autonomy over their learning through setting goals and selecting activities to work on – for example with "must-do, can-do” options.


It is essential that:

  • expectations for each student are appropriate.
  • teachers provide the scaffolding learners need in order to progress (Vygotsky).
  • the impact of teaching practice on student learning is monitored in an ongoing way.
  • teachers take action to change their practice if it is not having the desired effect.

Low expectation teachers tend to use simple factual questions and give the students the answers.

Don't discuss the lesson intention and success criteria.
Use competition vs co-operation.
Give verbal instructions only and don’t check that students understand.
Do most of the talking in the classroom.
Publicly address student behaviours ie interrupt the whole class rather than a private conversation.
Keep the students teacher dependent.

See the differences between high expectation and low expectation teaching here

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