Delegates attending the Education Show, co-sponsored by The TES, will hear that teachers need to offer children more hope for later life. The call comes from Ian Gilbert, a former language teacher and thinking skills specialist.
He set up Independent Thinking in 1993, a company which aims to improve the life chances of young people by raising expectations.
Mr Gilbert will say that for major companies such as American Airlines, attitude - including an ability to break the rules - is as important as qualifications, when they decide to employ staff.
"Sitting around waiting to be told what to do won't help anyone succeed," he said. "As business leaders such as Adair Turner have said, an attitude shortage is as dangerous as a skills shortage."
Mr Gilbert is currently finishing a book, Essential Motivation in the Classroom, which will be published in May. It will set out seven ways of inspiring pupils. These include hope, positive classroom relationships and giving learners a sense of control over their education.
The Education Show, which began yesterday, is the UK's leading event for educational resources, attracting more than 18,000 visitors.