Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Allan Bellman

Relational Format



The impact of expectations on student achievement has been researched for decades. My study began with the intention of researching and recording the impact of my own expectations on low-achieving students. However, the focus of my research evolved after meeting and building relationships with my students. After observing the exceedingly low standards my students held for themselves, my interest shifted to how expectations impacted students' self-perceptions. I recorded my observations of their attitudes, behaviors, and work ethic throughout the year; I also gave them an anonymous survey at the end of the year questioning them about their aspirations for the future and their perceptions of themselves and the expectations of their parents/guardians and teachers. Additionally, I kept a daily journal containing specific interactions with individual students that provided me insight on their academic growth and transformations of their self-perceptions. The results of this research revealed a direct positive correlation between the expectations of both parents/guardians and teachers on students' self-perceptions. Specifically, when there was room for my students to improve their grades, and both their parents/guardians and teachers had high expectations of them (expected them to improve), my students, too, felt they were capable of improving. Moreover, building meaningful relationships with my students strengthened the impact of my expectations on their self-perceptions.

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