One of the studies which I found particularly interesting was conducted by Rosenthal and Jacobsen and outlined the importance of expectancy effects on IQ. Rosenthal and Jacobson Studies During this experiment, Rosenthal and Jacobson explored the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy, similar to a placebo effect. To do so, researchers gave teachers a list of students who were likely to "bloom" in the next eight months. However, these students were actually randomly selected by Rosenthal and Jacobsen. Twenty percent of the class was chosen and their initial scores did not differ from the class. After a year, Rosenthal and Jacobsen retested the same students and found that the students who were labeled as "bloomers" scored on average four IQ points higher than the students who were not labeled as "bloomers". The possibility that expectancy can affect how teachers treat their students is interesting because of the possible implications. If the actions used by teachers towards the labeled "bloomers" were used on the rest of the class, it is possible for the entire class to get more out of their education. Although replications of this study have not generated as large of an effect as the study by Rosenthal and Jacobsen, the possibility that small cues by teachers towards their favorite students due to the belief that the students are smarter can lead to huge differences in our education system.
As I researched this study, I wondered if this meant that teachers were prejudiced against some races of students or students who dressed differently than others. For example, would a teacher consider a child who dressed more professionally smarter and consequently give that student positive cues? This could happen in a variety of situations. As a child, I was placed in the ESL (English as a Second Language) program because Chinese is my first language. English as a Second Language Lesson Plan Guide When I was in regular classes, I did not truly feel like I was part of the class. As a matter of fact, my kindergartner teacher told my mom that she should stop speaking Chinese around the household because it was impairing my English abilities. Because of this, I wonder if she treated me differently from other students whom she thought were smarter. The actions by my former teacher could effectively outline the expectancy effect because she thought that I was not ready for elementary school. Therefore, the largest question which came to me when researching this topic was how it effects our current school system and specific types of people.