The Pumas, TAI and High Expectations

I love this photo of Argentina’s rugby coach comforting one of his players after today’s World Cup semi final loss to Australia.

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I love it because it shows me they really believed they could win. Very few people thought Argentina could win today – the betting odds were 2-1 against them. But because they believed they could win, they played that way.

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There were a few moments in the match when Argentina could have taken control of the game … if passes had been caught, tackles made, right options taken. High expectations are important. But so are preparation and execution.

We know that it’s important to have high expectations for our students, to believe they can do great things and to encourage them to aim high.

But expectations in themselves don’t lead to improved achievement. We still have to support our students by scaffolding learning, and reflecting on our teaching practises to make sure we’re actually helping our students in the practical ways they need. That’s the Teaching as Inquiry model we hear a lot about.

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It’s also important that the expectations in our classrooms are shared between us and our students, not just imposed by teachers. That way we can be sure our expectations are not too high or too low but are just right for each student. Students will be more motivated when they own the expectations.

I’m proud of the positive attitude of the Argentinian players, of the high expectations they had for themselves. This is an image I’m expecting to see about 10 am this Sunday:

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