DHS drama teacher and occasional guest blogger Lesley Graney is back, thinking about beliefs, fromage frais and The Pygmalion Effect. Read on……
What do beliefs, fromage frais and the Pygmalion Effect have in common? Where is she going with this? Well…..I read a blog and watched a clip on ‘The Pygmalion Effect’ on the same week that my beliefs were shattered about a certain brand of … fromage frais.
This week I may have found out that I could have been a bad mother due to my beliefs! I have been giving my children this certain brand of fromage frais, REGUARLY!! Like every day, regularly.
Well, ‘What’s wrong with that?’, I hear you ask, surely you are saying, ‘it’s a healthy, fruit based yogurt providing one of your children’s 5 day; you should be applauded.’
No, it’s not. My belief was shattered this week as I read in a national newspaper, that actually in this very small pot with healthy cartoon characters and big pieces of fruit on it’s packaging, isn’t that healthy at all. It’s a façade, it contains 6 teaspoons on sugars in it!
My beliefs that I was giving my children a healthy yoghurt, which was good for them, had really shaped my behaviour.
For example, I created a climate where unlike ‘naughty food’ in our house, strictly for a ‘glass of wine moment’ when the kids are asleep (I am talking crisps and pretzels which are on a very high shelf out of view), the said fromage frais were in reach for my 5 year old to grab out of the fridge.
If the children wanted a snack, I would use the fromage frais or fruit approach, steering them away from crackers and bread because they are full of salt and sugar. Little did I know!
‘If you finish all your dinner you can have a yoghurt.’ I might as well have said ‘If you finish your dinner you can then have these 6 lumps of sugar to suck upon until your teeth fall out and you gain 3lbs in weight.’
My belief really shaped my behaviour and attitude towards the now unmentionable yogurt.
In fact, I gathered new information to support my existing beliefs that it was healthy. ‘Oh, it must be one of the kids 5-a-day because its’ got fruit on the packaging.’
My fromage frais revelation was twofold. Not only with regard to how much sugar was in it, but how one belief had such an impact on my attitude and behaviour.
Imagine the impact of my beliefs on students.
The Fromage frais revelation happened the same week I watched the clip on the Pygmalion effect. During the introduction Dr Philip Zimbarado asked the question,
‘Does it make a difference if your teacher believes you are a high performer or a low performer?’
The conclusion is that our beliefs and expectations of our students shape their performance, because our behaviour towards them changes – so we need to be careful what beliefs we hold.
Now can you see where I’m going with this?