Research (Weiner, 1996; Nicholls, 1982; Dweck, 2002, 1999) indicates that one of the most important things educators do is communicate to students that what we will learn is important, that we can learn it well, and that we won’t give up on them in the process. If research tells us this truth, then why do we continue to struggle with holding high standards and expectations for ALL students?
I believe that educators must clearly communicate standards and expectations, and believe that with effective effort, ALL students can achieve!
Standards exemplify to students what is important: What it is that we want them to accomplish and how we would like for them to conduct themselves? According to Jon Saphier (Research for Better Teaching, RBT), teachers set standards of performance through: 1.Quality and quantity of work. 2. Work habits and procedures. 3. Business and housekeeping routines. 4. Interpersonal behavior.
According to Ann Stern, a senior consultant at Research for Better Teaching (RBT), teachers can exemplify and reinforce the value of effective effort by:
- Sharing personal stories of effective effort.
- Demonstrate how individuals have achieved and excelled due to persistence, determination and hard work.
- Praise effort, not intelligence.
- When students succeed, ask them to identify what accounted for their success, and hold them accountable for determining how their effort played a role.
Empowering ALL students to hold high expectations for themselves and others is the key to any learning institution. By building the character of individuals, educators are building citizens of worth which exponentially benefits society as a whole. Success breeds success – why not brush up on your standards and hold expectations high for ALL?