What Do You Expect?

Occasionally, I talk to people who are a little put off by the name of the Emerging Scholars Network.  “I’m not a scholar!” they say, and they don’t think of their children in that way either. 

But an interesting study was just released by the Dept. of Education, entitled “Parent Expectations and Student Achievement.”  Here’s how the Chronicle of Higher Education ($) summarized it:

The Education Department released a report on Tuesday that offers new insights into the factors influencing whether parents expect their children to enroll at four-year colleges, and suggests that many young people who could succeed at such institutions are not being encouraged by their families or schools to apply.

The study found that parental expectations vary widely between different races and income levels, and that many parents think their children won’t be able to finish college when their grades suggest otherwise. 

I had a professor in college who was an incredible teacher.  It made sense, because educational theory was one of his specialties!  He freely admitted that he was not a good student in either high school or college – he had a 2.7 GPA as an undergrad – and he applied to grad school almost on a whim. Once in grad school, though, when he was able to focus on a subject that he was truly interested in, his grades took off.  He earned a PhD and is now a tenured professor.  He also taught me one of my first lessons in academic grace, but that’s a story for another time. 

What are your expectations, either for yourself or your children? 

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