Best Practice

The side-effects of high expectations...

It is an important requirement of Ofsted inspections – teacher expectations, particularly of disadvantaged students, must be high. However, a new study asks whether this policy has any unintended consequences for our pupils

A good school must have high expectations for all students and urge them to achieve the most they can, whatever their starting point. No-one would argue with this statement.

However, at the same time, there has been little research into the impact, or not, that high expectations might have. With increasing concern about mental health in our classrooms, could the climate of high expectations be partly to blame?

Conclusions from a new study suggest that perhaps we should look more closely at the effect that applying “pressure expectations” has on children’s learning experiences.

The research finds that teachers’ pressure expectations might lead to pupils working harder but that there are other implications too.

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