Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Pygmalion effect & Lesson 22

Encouragement and expectation
The power of expectation cannot be overestimated. It is well known and has been called the Pygmalion effect. Your expectations of your student is a key factor in how well he performs in his school work.

In an actual test conducted, teachers were told that certain students in a class were gifted and need to be challenged in order to excel. The teachers complied and at the end of a period when the students were given an examination they performed very well. In actual fact the students identified as gifted were just average students. Some were in fact previously labelled as poor students. The new found sense of being sure that they were smart (instilled by the teacher) made the difference.

In other words, once an expectation is set, even if it is not accurate, the student will act in ways that are consistent with that expectation. Surprisingly the result is that the expectation, as if by magic, comes true.
The dyslexic child will be able to accomplish a great deal if he believes he is smart and starts to tap into his vast potential. You as his parent or tutor should instill in him that he is special and that you expect him to do well. This is especially important as his classmates will be constantly taunting him and calling him stupid.

The Pygmalion effect enables a student to excel in response to the teacher’s message that he is smart and is capable of success and expected to succeed. When the teacher holds positive expectations about his student, he helps the student improve his self-esteem. The student believes he can succeed and his performance rises to the level of his own expectation
This idea is also known as "the self-fulfilling prophecy". When you believe your student will perform well, in some strange magical way he does. There is enough experimental data to suggest that the self-fulfilling prophecy is true and you do not have to try and reinvent the wheel. Just believe and expect your student to excel in his studies. Keep motivating him by encouraging him daily.

The Pygmalion effect is portrayed in the movie “My fair lady.” In the movie Professor Henry Higgins claims he can take a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, and turn her into a duchess.

In the movie Eliza says to Higgin’s friend Pickering, "You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up, the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves but how she's treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will, but I know I can be a lady to you because you always treat me as a lady, and always will."

As a wise man had put it, "Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be."

For Lesson 22 click here:


Unknown said...

So true!

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you my friend.

Anonymous said...

A brilliant article that encapsulates the pertinent role of the teacher in facilitating the process of achieving the power of self- belief by the student.

Teachers play a critical role but more importantly need to adopt a co-operative approach and try to bring on board parents in this process.

It is a big ask, as the public vary in their perception of the importance of education particularly in the formative years as that is the critical moment.Kids need to be aware of the essential tools for survival where the home environment may be less than conducive to learning.


Luqman Michel said...

You have very good ideas and you write very well. Perhaps you should think of writing an article as a guest writer for my blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michel.I read your blog with interest and wear my educatioalist hat.
Your work is original and not only have you learnt from your personal experience of facilitation,buthave had the analytical ability to evaluate your sessions and shared the vital conclusions drawn from your observations.
Would be delighted to write.
Need some guidance on its format.


Luqman Michel said...

Jase, Follow the same format as I have been writing on. What about writing on why many dyslexic adults read well and even go on to becoming prolific writers?
It would also be a good idea to summarise the articles here (say 5 articles into one article)in your own words and publish for new readers and also as a refresher for readers who have read the earlier articles sometime ago.

Lauren McCrea said...

You mentioned that "There is enough experimental data to suggest that the self-fulfilling prophecy is true and you do not have to try and reinvent the wheel".
Can you point me to the data you are talking about?