The teacher’s doubt
当他们达到9时thgrade, students in Israel choose in which field(s) they wish to major for the rest of high school. Neta loved biology and wanted to major in that field. She felt that she was good in the sciences and had never had any difficulties learning them. Sharon, her biology teacher, however, felt that the subject was too demanding for Neta and recommended that she choose another subject, one which was less intellectually challenging.
We were confused: was Neta unable to distinguish between her ideal self and her realistic self? We looked at the grades Neta had received in the biology tests that had been held since the beginning of the year and were surprised to see that they were excellent, placing her near the top of her class. So it appeared that it was Sharon rather than Neta who was misjudging Neta’s abilities. What was the reason for Sharon’s low appraisal of a student who was apparently talented, capable, and with high prior accomplishments in biology?
Goal Orientation and the Golem Effect
As we followed Neta and Sharon throughout the year, Sharon continued to let Neta know that she doubted her abilities. Neta’s achievements in biology decreased and she began to doubt herself, wondering whether Sharon was indeed correct in thinking that she was not “built” for biology. We saw this as an example of the Golem effect, according to which, if low expectations are set by the teacher, self-efficacy falls, less effort is expended because one does not believe any longer that one has any chance of succeeding, and as a result lower performance is exhibited, justifying the low expectations set by the teacher. The Golem effect is traditionally explained using expectancy-value theory. However, this theory does not address the issue of what can lead a biology teacher to under-estimate a student or why one student may be able to withstand the negative influence of the under-estimation but another not. Using the perspective of achievement goal orientation theory, we believe we succeeded in shedding some light on this in this study.
The Disadvantage of Asking Impulsive Questions
一年开始的一项激励性调查显示，内塔（Neta）在科学方面非常掌握，比她的任何同龄人更重要。她的性能 - 诉求和避免性能的方向比任何同龄人都较低。这意味着Neta希望理解，发展一种精通感，并不关心用她的知识给他人留下深刻的印象。