The effects of teacher expectation interventions on teachers’ expectations and student achievement: narrative review and meta-analysis

Hester De Boer, Anneke C. Timmermans, Margaretha P. C. Van Der Werf

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This study provides a systematic review of the effects of 19 teacher expectation interventions. Prior research on teacher expectations primarily focussed on correlational relationships with student and teacher characteristics, leaving open the questions of whether it is possible to raise teacher expectations and to prevent (too) low expectations from having detrimental effects on student achievement. These questions were the scope of the current review. We distinguished 3 types of interventions: changing teacher behaviour, creating awareness of expectancy effects, and addressing the beliefs underlying the expectations. The results indicated that it was possible to raise teacher expectations and subsequent student achievement. We found summary effects of Hedges’ g = 0.38 and 0.30, respectively. The narrative review suggested that the intervention type did not affect the effectiveness, but teacher support for the intervention did. However, verification of this suggestion with moderator analysis was not possible due to the limited number of interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-200
Number of pages21
JournalEducational Research and Evaluation
Issue number3-5
Early online date10-Dec-2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Teacher expectation interventions
  • review and meta-analysis
  • student achievement
  • BIAS

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