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The Pygmalion Effect: The Importance of Expectations When Teaching

Pygmalion Effect

If we understood the enormous effect that our most basic expectations have on children’s lives, perhaps we would choose to be language gardeners to know how to take care of our words.

In 1965, Rosenthal and Jacobson coined the term Pygmalion Effect, after a research project they carried out in a California school that aimed to observe if a teacher’s expectations influenced the later success or failure of children with few economic resources. The result was surprising; when a teacher believes that a student is less qualified, their efforts in teaching that student diminish.

How Important Are Expectations?

Children are small souls in a learning process, that are gradually developing and being shaped by the behaviors, expectations, and affection that they receive from their environment. There is scientific research demonstrating that what another person expects from you can actually modify specific behavioral, emotional, and even biological traits!

To Be a Language Gardener, Everyday It Is Essential to Work on:

  • Knowing your little one; provide your child with unconditional love, by accepting and encouraging their abilities and skills for all of their potential to flourish.
  • Taking care of verbal language as much as nonverbal language. The congruence between both types of language is crucial, as children absorb every gesture and word that comes their way. Saying “Come on, you can do it!” to your child means nothing if your facial expression is glum.
  • Observing how your child is growing up. Spend time with each other and share hobbies, talk and have a conversation about their day, listen to them, and educate them on emotional intelligence.
  • Motivating them to be better every day, by going outside their comfort zone and fighting for their own dreams.
  • Transmitting positivity to your child, by educating them through reinforcement, explaining why their failures happened, and taking them by the hand to help them get up and keep going.

“Every day you have the option of cutting the wings of others, by talking about fear and uncertainty. Or you can let your words push them towards their goals, by believing in the infinite ability that there is within every human being.”

Learn More:

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