Topic 1: High expectations

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The importance of high expectations for all students has been discussed in educational theory for some years. While much has been written about the importance of believing in high expectations, less has been written about what teachers need to do to enact high expectations in the classroom and the school community.

Therefore, it is vital that educators are given opportunities to examine their assumptions and deficit beliefs, and to entertain positive solutions that will provide real and meaningful change.

This topic will include:

  • examining unconscious beliefs and assumptions
  • understanding the impact of deficit thinking and explore ways to change these perceptions
  • gaining awareness that the expectations you convey in teaching will influence the achievement and lives of students.

Get StartedExplore the concepts, activities and assessment tasks below or use the Get Started button to work through the content in the suggested sequence.

Having high expectations

Having high expectations is essential to achieve successful learning outcomes.

Characteristics of effective teachers

Consider descriptions of the characteristics of effective teachers of Aboriginal adolescents.

Challenging 'deficit thinking'

Challenge your thinking and perceptions of achievement gaps between students.

Being culturally competent

Reflect on your own background and your relationships in the school community.


Suggested readings for Topic 1: High expectations

Stronger and smarter students

Activity: Reflect upon what you expect from your students.

Positive reinforcement

Activity: Consider the impact of praise and positive reinforcement on teaching and learning.

Identity and student success

Assessment: Matters of identity are key factors in the success or failure of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Topic review

Review the concepts, activities and assessment tasks in Topic 1.