Teachers' bias limits potential: How do we change students' mindset?

Teachers' bias limits potential: How do we change students' mindset?

Students tend to do better in school if they were given positive feedback and further encouragement in terms of their academic potential. Thus, teachers' bias limits students potential to do well. Read on to know how to counter this problem by providing positive reinforcement to your child.

A teacher's expectations affect his interactions with the students he teaches in many ways. As teachers' bias affects students' behaviours academically both positively and negatively, there should be an improvement in teacher-student interaction, including body language i.e. consistently nodding and smiling at them more.

According to a study on elementary school in San Francisco, students who were labelled "intelligent" in teachers' minds showed significantly better results in academic tests than those who were not singled out for positive attention. Other studies from the Centre for American Progress in US, National Institute of Education (NIE) in Singapore and Australia schools confirm that the expectations of teachers showed a very strong predictive relationship with the outcome of doing well academically.

To know how to counter this problem, click on the next page!

If you're both a teacher and/or a parent yourself, here are some ways to improve your teaching methods to your children by providing positive reinforcements:

  • Make sure they know that failure is almost always the key to success. Teach your child or pupil that it is okay to fail. It is okay to learn from one's mistake because nobody is born perfect. & mums, please do not be disheartened if your child doesn't do well in school. Think about the problems you have once faced in school-life and shower them with stories of how you've overcome these challenges in order to change their mindset.


  • It is also of no help to your child if you are comparing academic results with other children who did better. Guidance, proper motivation and positive reinforcements (not excessively) can help nurture your child into gradually improving themselves academically.


  • Spend time with them doing fun activities together that doesn't involve school. Going cycling; washing the car together; going for breakfast, etc will boost your relationship with them and at the same time allows you to understand them better – giving you the opportunity to shower them with academic advice.  Just do remember to make the activity fun, in order to get them to go out with you in the first place (teens, am I right?) 


Comment below and share with us how you nurture your kids academically!

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Written by

Brenda Loo

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