The Famous “Classroom Test”
In the late sixties, Robert Rosenthal (a UC professor and psychologist) talked about a famous “classroom test” experiment that took place in San Francisco.
The “classroom test” was performed not to measure the intelligence or capability of students but to see how teacher’s expectations influenced the performance of students.
The experiment was simple enough.
The teachers were led to believe that a select group of students were expected to excel in the test and academics that year.
These students were taken to special testing rooms and were given the exam.
The test that was administered was the “Flanagan Test of General Ability.”
To enhance the impact of the test, it was renamed the “Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition” during the experiment.
This test was a general intelligence test in the sixties that was designed for primary school and secondary school students.
After the test was administered, the teachers reported that the students who took the test were positively performing at a much higher level than others who were not designated as “excelling students.”
The inquisitiveness and academic interest of the select group of students also increased after the experiment was performed.
The opposite was observed in other students: they weren’t as active in class and showed less interest in excelling academically.