For nearly 40 years the Pygmalion Effect has been widely recognized as the improved learning and development that take place when a teacher has high expectations in approaching a student. An assumed corollary is that low expectations have a deleterious effect on student learning and development. This study dramatically confirms that corollary by introducing negative expectations into the classroom and finding immediate, powerful, negative impacts that result in student work being perceived as inferior when it is thought to come from students in an intellectually disrespected school group. The experimental group involved only white, American students. The results shed light on the obstacles faced by African-American students.
Keywords: expectations, education, achievement gap, opportunity gap, racial gap, African American students, black students, METCO, stereotype.
Ph.D. Robert Frank