Die Leistung von Schülern ist das Ergebnis der Erwartungen, von denen sie meinen, dass sie von Lehrern an sie herangetragen werden. Anders formuliert: Wenn ein Schüler denkt, sein Lehrer sei der Ansicht, er könne kein Deutsch, dann wird sich die Leistung des Schülers der Erwartung anpassen.
Das ist der so genannte Pygmalion-Effekt, den Robert Rosenthal und Leonore Jacobson im Jahre 1968 erstmals publiziert haben:
“The central idea of this book has been that one person’s expectation for another’s behavior could come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is not a new idea, and anecdotes and theories can be found that support its tenability. Much of the experimental evidence for the operation of interpersonal self-fulfilling prophecies comes from a research program in which prophecies or expectancies were experimentally generated in psychological experimenters in order to learn whether these prophecies would become self-fulfilling.
To summarize our speculations, we may say that by what she [the teacher] said, by how and when she said it, but her facial expressions, postures, and perhaps by her touch, the teacher may have communicated to the children of the experimental group that she expected improved intellectual performance. Such communication together with possible changes in teaching techniques may have helped the child learn by changing his self-concept, his expectations of his own behavior, and his motivation, as well as his cognitive style and skills” (Rosenthal & Jacobsen, Pygmalion in the classroom, pp.174-180(