Some years ago, I was assigned an Honors class in freshman composition. That meant highly qualified students that I devised a challenging syllabus for.
Turned out there were not enough students to fill the class of 25. So, they opened it up for any students. The 12 Honors students stayed in the class anyway, as it filled.
At the first class meeting, I explained that the class syllabus had been designed for Honors students and was going to be harder than a regular comp class. I gave them the choice of following the Honors curriculum or the standard department curriculum for the course. All of them voted for the honors class. I had no idea which students were supposed to be exceptional, and which were the usual.
So I taught the class as if it were an Honors class. And all the students performed at the Honors level. That taught me that if you expect people to perform well, they will.
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