Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2000 Issue »

    HER Classic Reprint - Student Social Class and Teacher Expectations

    The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Ghetto Education

    Ray C. Rist
    In 1970 the Harvard Educational Review published an article by Ray Rist that described how, for the one class of children he observed, their public school not only mirrored the class system of the larger society but also actively contributed to maintaining it. Now, thirty years later, the Editorial Board of the Harvard Educational Review has decided to reprint this article as part of the HER Classics Series. We hope that by reacquainting readers with this article, and by introducing it to new readers, we can encourage all of us to think about the work that remains in creating a just and equitable educational experience for all children.

    Many studies have shown that academic achievement is highly correlated with social class. Few, however, have attempted to explain exactly how the school helps to reinforce the class structure of the society. In this article, Dr. Rist reports the results of an observational study of one class of ghetto children during their kindergarten, first- and second-grade years. He shows how the kindergarten teacher placed the children in reading groups which reflected the social class composition of the class, and how these groups persisted throughout the first several years of elementary school. The way in which the teacher behaved toward the different groups became an important influence on the children's achievement. Dr. Rist concludes by examining the relationship between the "caste" system of the classroom and the class system of the larger society.

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    Fall 2000 Issue

    Abstracts

    HER Classic Reprint - Student Social Class and Teacher Expectations
    The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Ghetto Education
    Ray C. Rist
    Late Immersion and Language of Instruction in Hong Kong High Schools
    Achievement Growth in Language and Nonlanguage Subjects
    Herbert W. Marsh, Kit-Tai Hau, Chit-Kwong Kong
    The Thing Never Speaks for Itself
    Lacan and the Pedagogical Politics of Clarity
    Douglas Sadao Aoki

    Book Notes

    Has Feminism Changed Science?
    By Londa Schiebinger

    Making Our High Schools Better
    By Anne Westcott Dodd and Jean L. Konzal

    Women’s Science
    By Margaret A. Eisenhart and Elizabeth Finkel, with Linda Behm, Nancy Lawrence, and Karen Tonso

    Between Church and State
    By James W. Fraser

    Call 1-800-513-0763 to order this issue.