Personalizing learning and teacher expectations

William (Bill) Powell and Ochan Kusuma-Powell consider how teacher expectations can get in the way of personalizing learning

During a visit to a large international school in Europe, a middle school humanities teacher asked Bill to observe her lesson and give her feedback on her questioning techniques. The teacher had set work for the class and then called students to her desk for individual conferences. Bill sat next to the teacher, recorded the students’ names and the teacher’s questions. At the conclusion of the class period, Bill coached the teacher through a reflecting conversation. After she had summarized her impressions of the lesson and her questions, Bill asked if she would like to see the data. He then handed her the script of her questions.

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December 2014