Faculty of Education and Social Work


Project Overview

Read more about this project.

This 3-year project started with 2500 students and their 90 teachers being recruited from 12 primary schools within Auckland. Teachers were randomly assigned to either an intervention or control group within each school. Various types of data were collected which included student demographics, student beliefs and student achievement (in both mathematics and reading); teacher demographics, teacher beliefs, teacher expectations, video recordings of teacher lessons, as well as school demographics.

Year One (2011)

The purpose of the first year of the project was to examine whether teacher expectations can be experimentally raised through measuring the impact of four workshops which were attended by the 45 intervention teachers in the first year. Pre and post intervention data were collected to enable investigation of the change in teacher practice as a result of being part of the intervention progress. Changes in student achievement and beliefs were also measured.

In March 2011, an intervention was introduced (in the form of four workshops) to teachers in the intervention group only:

 

Workshop 1: An introduction to the expectation research


In the first workshop, the teachers were introduced to the history of the teacher expectation research and how it has developed. In particular, they learnt about how high expectation teachers teach differently and how their beliefs differ from those of other teachers. The areas where they differ are: grouping and learning experiences; the psychosocial climate of the classroom; and motivation, evaluation, feedback and student autonomy. The teachers also learnt about the messages given by non-verbal behaviour and viewed videos of themselves teaching.

Workshop 2: Grouping and learning activities


In the second workshop the teachers learnt that high expectation teachers do not put their students into ability groups for learning experiences. They group for instruction, but not for activities. The teachers planned how they would construct their reading programmes to in which they incorporated flexible grouping for learning activities. They developed a resource pack that included a large number of ideas for structuring their reading programmes differently and also a wide range of possible reading activities that they might incorporate.

Workshop 3: The psychosocial climate


In the third workshop the teachers explored how high expectation teachers work towards having a very positive psychosocial climate for their students. They learnt how to measure their own classroom climate. They were introduced to the proven psychological benefits of positivity for learning as well as positive emotions. Again the teachers assembled an excellent resource of ideas that might be used in their classrooms to enhance the social environment of their classrooms.

Workshop 4: Motivation, evaluation feedback and student autonomy


In the fourth workshop, the teachers were introduced to the ways in which high expectation teachers promoted student motivation, evaluation and student autonomy and how they provided students with clear learning feedback. Goal-setting was utilised as a framework for enhancing all four central concepts. Teachers discussed how the Individual Learning Pathways report in e-asTTle could be used for goal setting. They also explored the setting of SMART goals. The teachers developed a wide range of ideas to facilitate goal-setting in their classrooms.

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Summary of Year One data collection process

Phase Data Collected Milestones
Phase 1
February 2011
e-asTTle standardised tests
Student questionnaires
Teacher questionnaires
Estimation of achievement surveys
Video recordings of teacher lessons
Pre-intervention data collected (i.e., baseline data).
  Intervention introduced
March – May 2011
 
Phase 2
June – July 2011
e-asTTle standardised tests
Student questionnaires
Teacher questionnaires
Estimation of achievement surveys
School partnership visits from researchers to support teachers in implementation of the intervention
Post-intervention data collected to measure the initial impact of the intervention on teacher expectations.
Phase 3
October – November 2011
e-asTTle standardised tests
Student questionnaires
Teacher questionnaires
End of year project evaluation survey
Video recordings of teacher lessons
End of year 2011 data collected to measure changes in teacher and student beliefs, expectations, and achievement by the end of the academic year.

Year Two (2012)

The purpose of the second year of the project was to examine whether the intervention teachers could teach the control teachers the techniques and strategies they gained from the four workshops introduced in Year One, and how they were implementing these strategies in Year Two of the project. An on-going purpose of the project was also to continue tracking students and examine whether their beliefs and achievement levels were sustained or not. This was especially since students had moved to either new classes or schools. Hence, students could have moved to a control class, an intervention class or a class of a teacher not in the project. By early-2012, the intervention was introduced to the control teachers and the intervention teachers and their students from 2011 were still being tracked.

Summary of Year Two data collection process

Phase Data Collected Milestones
Phase 4
February – March 2012
e-asTTle standardised tests
Student questionnaires
Teacher questionnaires
Estimation of achievement surveys
Baseline data for year 2012 collected.
  Intervention introduced to all control teachers in the project
March – April 2012
 
Phase 5
October – November 2012
e-asTTle standardised tests
Student questionnaires
Teacher questionnaires
Estimation of achievement surveys
End of year project evaluation survey
End of year 2012 data collected to measure changes in teacher and student beliefs, expectations, and achievement by the end of the academic year.
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Year Three (2013)

The purpose of the third year of the project was to monitor the sustaining of the practices of high expectation teachers. We wanted to see whether teachers would maintain the practices when the researchers were not involved.

Summary of Year Three data collection process

Phase Data Collected Milestones
Phase 6
February – March 2013
e-asTTle standardised tests
Student questionnaires
Teacher questionnaires
Estimation of achievement surveys
Baseline data for year 2013 collected
 Phase 7
October – November 2013
e-asTTle standardised tests
Student questionnaires
Teacher questionnaires
Estimation of achievement surveys
End of year project evaluation survey
End of year 2013 data collected to measure changes in teacher and student beliefs, expectations, and achievement by the end of the academic year. 
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