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Teacher Expectations and Professional Knowledge

Funded by the German Research Foundation (RE 3009/2-1 und HE 4561/9-1)

Duration: 09.2016 – 08.2019


Aim of the study

Since the 1960s, teacher expectations have been researched as an important predictor of students’ achievement development. In spite of this research tradition, we still do not know much about moderators of this relationship at the teacher level. There has been, however, particular progress in research dealing with relevant teacher characteristics. Among other things, effects of teachers’ expectancies have been recorded, and, as a result, reliable and valid measures of teachers’ professional knowledge have been developed. The relationship between teachers’ expectancies and professional knowledge, however, have not been investigated yet. In this research project, we aim to merge these research fields by investigating correlations between teachers’ expectancies and professional knowledge. We expect to find interactions between the teacher variables and we presume that professional knowledge attenuates negative effects of teachers’ expectancies.



We plan a one-year longitudinal study with 100 elementary school teachers and their classes in mathematics.



The study will allow us to analyze how the teacher characteristics and interactions between them affect student development. Our results will, above all, provide knowledge about the relationship between teachers’ knowledge and expectancies and their effects on student outcomes.


People involved

Francesca Muntoni, Educational Research (contact person)
Simone Dunekacke, Mathematics Education
Aiso Heinze, Mathematics Education

Jan Retelsdorf, Educational Research