Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Grant Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. David Paige

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Whitney


For the last fifty years, researchers have studied teacher expectations and their impact on student achievement. A large body of research supports the hypothesis that teachers form expectations for students, (Brophy & Good, 1970; Dusek & O’Connell, 1973; O’Connell, Dusek & Wheeler, 1974; Rist, 1970), these expectations cause teachers to behave differently, (Braun, 1976; Brophy & Good, 1970; Rothbart, Dalfen, & Barrett, 1971, Good & Nichols, 2001) and the differential treatment can affect student achievement (Brophy & Good, 1970; Jussim & Eccles, 1992; Alvidrez & Weinstein, 1999; Goldenberg, 1992, Madon, Jussim, & Eccles, 1997).

Although teacher expectancy theory is widely accepted, it is not without its critics. Hoge (1984) identified a weakness in the research concerning the reliability of the data and encouraged future research in this area. Since that time, little has been done to address this issue. Of the 38 studies on teacher expectations published in the last five years only nine of them made any mention of reliability.

The current Generalizability study examined the reliability of the data produced by the two most common measures of teacher expectations, self-report and observation. Teachers (n = 31) completed a self-report survey designed to examine teacher expectations in the spring semester of 2018. Following completion of the self-report survey, two evaluators simultaneously rated teachers on indicators of student expectations during instruction, with follow-up ratings conducted two weeks later. While self-report data was found to be reliable, teacher observations were not.