The Generating Expectations for Student Achievement Program
For Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Curriculum Specialists,
Staff Developers & Equity Program Specialists/Coordinators
The necessity of high expectations for all students has been identified repeatedly as an essential factor for educational success. The goal of this program is to provide educational personnel with an inclusive approach to increased student achievement and retention and to raise expectations for both females and males. GESA is especially effective with students from diverse cultural and language backgrounds, those in poverty, those with perceived developmental or physical challenges, those on nontraditional career paths, and science, technology, engineering and math students (STEM). This program was designed from a synthesis of research and experiences drawn from hundreds of studies, observations and interviews with those working in instructional K-16 environments, especially in diverse settings and with nontraditional students.
Participants receive current research and materials that provide a greater understanding of the identified areas of disparity that prevent some students from being successful. They explore the correlation between perceptions, expectations, behaviors and achievement and apply the concepts to working with all students. A participant booklet identifies positive, supportive strategies that influence the internal motivational beliefs of high and low achieving students, as well as indicators for observing, recording and analyzing data for the impact of the strategies on all student achievement.
Audience(s): Elementary, middle school and high school instructional and content coaches/specialists/coordinators, STEM, CTE, ELL and other teachers, counselors and administrators.
Format: Combined lecture, small group & partner activities and group discussion. Length: 1-2 hour Overview; 2-3 hour workshop, or 4-6 hour in-depth workshop. A multi-day training-for-trainers (GESA Facilitator) session is available to build capacity within state, regional, district or site teams.
How does GESA work?
School districts choose potential GESA facilitators to attend a three-day workshop conducted by GESA staff. Facilitators can then work with a group of teachers who may attend a series of workshops, classes or study groups. The teachers work in partners or in groups of four. After each session, teachers in each group observe in one another's classrooms, recording (by gender, ethnicity, etc.) the teacher-student interactions studied at the workshop. Each unit also provides the teachers with resources to address specific curriculum issues and discussion topics in their classrooms.
Is GESA successful? Yes! and Yes! and Yes! again.
When disparities based on gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class and teacher expectations are reduced, students experience improved academic and interpersonal achievement and enhanced self-esteem. Pre and post observations and monthly summaries of recording sheets indicate that teachers participating in GESA have reduced the disparities in their interactions with all students. Teachers who have participated in the GESA program increase the use of non-stereotypical behaviors, materials and activities.
The GESA program is the result of many years of collecting and comparing data and effective strategies and over twenty years of successful implementation, as evidenced by a number of validation studies, practitioner responses and numerous awards.
How can teachers increase achievement through their interactions with students?
GESA emphasizes the research on teacher perceptions and expectations in the classroom, suggests alternative behaviors and provides techniques for application and practice. The program recommends that teachers have opportunities to observe each other in a non threatening manner and encourages self-discovery and analysis.
Participants are often amazed to learn about the effects of gender, race, ethnic and other differences in their perceived expectations of students.