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Pygmalion Effect

  • By: Susan Schramm-Pate
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

The Pygmalion Effect, also known as the self-fulfilling prophecy, signifies a positive impact in the field of curriculum studies and raises the issue of whether high educational expectations by school personnel (i.e., teachers, staff, and administrators) and school partners (i.e., parents/guardians and others in the community) make the outcome of student success in school more likely to occur than would otherwise have been true. The term, Pygmalion Effect, as it relates to schooling, was coined by the Harvard psychologist Robert Rosenthal and the elementary school principal Lenore Jacobson in their book, Pygmalion in the Classroom, published in 1968. The implications of their study, which took place in a low-income San Francisco neighborhood, suggest that compensatory education needed to be centered on the induction of positive ...

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