The purpose of this study was to describe the operation of teacher expectancy effects within two instructional climates of elementary physical education classes. Specifically, high and low expectancy groups were compared during noncompetitive and competitive instruction in terms of teacher-student interaction and perceived expression of effort. Four alternating experimental phases of instruction were employed. Analysis of the interaction data revealed that low expectancy students received significantly more praise and encouragement during the first (noncompetitive) phase and the fourth (competitive) phase than did high expectancy students. They also received significantly more empathy from their teachers during both competitive phases of instruction. High expectancy students were perceived to exhibit significantly more effort than low expectancy students during all four phases.
This project was supported by a grant from the Proctor Foundation, Salisbury, NC.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas J. Martinek, Motor and Social Behavior Laboratory, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC 27412.