Pygmalion Effect & Education Networks: Evidence from Public Schools in Pakistan
Teacher and parental expectations of student effort and achievement are very low in public education systems in developing countries, especially for students from low socio-economic backgrounds. This study directly targets an important determinant of student motivation and performance: teacher expectations. Using an experimental design, the study aims to shed light on whether: (a) expectations of high effort and achievement affect student cognitive and non-cognitive and outcomes; (b) expectations affect parental aspirations and engagement in their child’s education; (c) the treatment effect differs according to whether these expectations are conveyed to a student individually, to a pair of students collectively, or to their parent and (d) the treatment effect differs by gender. To gauge long-term effects, the study will also analyze how the intervention affects student networks. From a policy perspective, the study will generate evidence on the effectiveness of a low cost and easily scalable intervention involving minimal instruction time to improve student outcomes.