CHAPTER 2 EXPECTIONS Recognizing How Our Beliefs Shape Our Behaviour
The power of these expectational belief sets helps explain why changing teaching is much more than giving teachers a new set of practices to deploy. In fact, teachers may employ a new method of instructions, only to find that it falls flat and doesn’t achieve the kind of lift its proponents had promised. They then discount the method, ignoring completely how their expectational beliefs may have undermined the new instructional practices.
If we return to the cartoon and interrogate its punch line from both teacher and student positions, what questions about classroom discourse might be asked?Is thinking not valued in this classroom? Is important classroom work mainly signified by students just doing ‘stuff’? What messages are both being given by the teacher and received by the students?How will students respond to these messages in their current and future educational lives?
The central argument of this article is that these and similar questions are critical to the project ofstudent engagement. All classrooms are characterised by a complex set of teacher-student interactions(Cazden, 2001). Research in the Fair Go Program (Munns, Sawyer & Cole, 2013) has shown that skilled teachers, who are committed to engaging all their learners, interpret and adjust these interactions to create environments that give students the capacity to fit in, believe in themselves and succeed as learners. These teachers understand that every classroom interaction has the potential to deliver a message that will orientate students towards, or away from, engagement and learning success. They stack their classrooms with messages that engage and deliver student connection to school