The Longitudinal Relations of Teacher Expectations to Achievement in the Early School Years

J. Benjamin Hinnant, Marion O'Brien, Sharon R. Ghazarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


There is relatively little research on the role of teacher expectations in the early school years or the importance of teacher expectations as a predictor of future academic achievement. The current study investigated these issues in the reading and mathematic domains for young children. Data from nearly 1,000 children and families at 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades were included. Child sex and social skills emerged as consistent predictors of teacher expectations of reading and, to a lesser extent, math ability. In predicting actual future academic achievement, results showed that teacher expectations were differentially related to achievement in reading and math. There was no evidence that teacher expectations accumulate but some evidence that they remain durable over time for math achievement. In addition, teacher expectations were more strongly related to later achievement for groups of children who might be considered to be at risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-670
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • academic achievement
  • self-fulfilling prophecy
  • teacher expectations
  • teacher perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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