Research into the complexities of classroom life indicates that the critical factor influencing children’s performance is neither a particular teaching method as such nor the background of the children in and of itself. A fair number of studies now show instead that the critical factor is the teacher’s expectation that children either will or will not learn what is being taught. To say this does not mean that the process whereby teacher attitudes are projected onto children is simple. Teacher expectations for children are in part expressed in direct and consciously formulated goal-setting statements, but they are also incorporated into curriculum content, teaching style, and classroom management practices in subtle ways of which teachers are often unaware.