In Chapter 10 of “The Rules of Persuasion” published by Westside Toastmasters, For Public Speaking and Leadership Education, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe writes, “The Rule of expectations uses expectations to influence reality and create results. Individuals tend to make decisions based on how others expect them to perform. As a result, people fulfill those expectations whether positive or negative. Expectations have a powerful impact on those we trust and respect, but, interestingly, an even greater impact on perfect strangers. When we know someone expects something from us, we will try to satisfy him or her in order to gain respect and likability. . . “Those who believe in our ability do more than stimulate us. They create for us an atmosphere in which it becomes easier to succeed.” When you create expectations, you change people’s behavior. Whenever you label specific behaviors or characteristics, the action is expected.
Currently in education we place negative labels on the actions and behaviors of children as soon as they enter the system.
We label children’s behaviors and characteristics against an artificial norm created by low expectations of children due to their parents financial and social condition.
Children who live in the inner city are considered disadvantaged because their parents are “poor” and the expected level of educational success is much lower than that of their suburban counterpart.
Conversely, children of affluent parents are expected to achieve regardless of their personal level of ability because their parents are financially successful.
Neither group of children are seen as individuals. Neither are expected to have gifts and talents of their own that give them the opportunity to overcome obstacles that might otherwise be insurmountable.
Changing education so that it concentrates on the gifts and talents of all children means changing the mindset of adults who believe in the disabilities of children rather than their abilities.
Seeing all children as gifted and talented means raising the level of expectation for educational success for all children. It means understanding that every child can achieve excellence and believe in themselves as valuable contributions to our world.
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