First impressions are unavoidable. From high school to the work place to any social situation, the fantasies of love at first sight and sudden distaste are brought to life through the senses. The key word is unavoidable: as Ann Gazin states in Instructor, as fallible humans, [it is only] natural to make judgments, both positive and negative (Gazin). Perception is instantaneous, but it is rarely as accurate as the perceiver may wish to believe. These negative judgments foremost have a permanent impact on attitude and expectation, and in a classroom, this habit of observational assessment can prove detrimental to a student. While on the playground or in social situations, children may be teased because of their clothing or their speech; but in a learning environment, these biased assumptions can interfere with education, especially when entertained by a teacher.
[...] This controversial flaw in Rosenthal and Jacobson's original experiment hindered the initial tests of the Pygmalion Effect hypothesis, but subsequent experiments have “demonstrated the possible existence of self-fulfilling prophecies” and the “self-fulfilling prophecy was later established as a real phenomenon” (Madon). But the true controversy exists in the probability of such a situation occurring: as Lee Jussim has addressed in much of his contemporary research on the topic, “experimental studies show only that perceiver expectations can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies,” and “whether perceivers typically develop false expectations naturally, and whether self-fulfilling prophecies typically follow, are questions that cannot be addressed by the experimental paradigm,” although most psychologists have concluded that negative self-fulfilling prophecies are more likely (Madon). [...]
[...] The real tragedy exists in the controllable components of identity that teenagers purposely select, the qualities they desire to have and believe that their peers will admire. As addressed in The Merchants of Cool, a documentary focused on the unorthodox methods of corporations used to market products, this pressure to be is only growing. Starting in the 1980s and increasing steadily throughout the next decade, advertising manipulated the very stereotypes of teenagers to sell products to teenagers: these companies spent thousands of dollars researching the trends and the ever-changing definition of Soon, media giants like MTV, not content to merely desired to “create ignoring current trends in the pursuit of future trends, consequently closing the “feedback loop between culture and marketing . [...]
[...] From the dumb jock to the blonde cheerleader to the disgruntled black, these figures pervade high schools across the industrialized world. It is a sad recipe for academic distress. These images, born on MTV, have spread to every corner of society. As reported in the Toronto Star, the “image portrayed of [teenagers] is that of a lost generation. They are shown as young people who care little about their intellectual or moral development, young people who care little about the pursuit of . any goals outside of . self-satisfaction” (Lacey). [...]
[...] Self-fulfilling prophecies may only be a probability and not a guarantee, but even the slightest chance of such negative and devastating implications should be enough to start seeking change. Works Cited Bulterman-Bos, Jacquelien. “Observation in Teaching: Toward a Practice of Objectivity.” Teachers College Record 104.6 (2002): 1069-1100. Academic Search Premier Nov < http://www.emerson.edu/library/java/ebsco.html>. Gazin, Ann. “What Do You Expect? A Teacher's High—or Low—Expectations Can Wield a Profound Influence on Students. Here's How to Set the Bar High for Every Child.” Instructor August 2004: 114. [...]
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