Hover to see how factors connect to Stereotype Threat. Then click connected factors to explore strategies related to multiple factors.
Many stereotypes exist about the academic performance of learners based on categories such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Stereotype Threat suggests that people can underperform in many academic areas, including learning to read and write, when faced with this prospect of being judged.
Stereotype Threat occurs when a negative stereotype that exists in a culture about a group results in suboptimal academic performance by members of that group. This can impact performance even in classrooms where the learner does not personally experience prejudiced behavior toward them by teachers or peers. This is particularly true on tests where students are told the test is diagnostic of their intellectual abilities. Also, individuals who do not believe the stereotype is true about their group will often still experience the negative effects of Stereotype Threat.
People can hold two types of stereotypes:
In the United States, Stereotype Threat impacts literacy for multiple groups:
Students are forming their identity during adolescence. As they grow older they are more able to engage in deeper reflection about their own personal racial and ethnic identity and how it fits into society. This makes adolescents particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of stereotype threat.
Students practice making and finding meaning in texts through book discussions moderated by teachers to varying degrees.
Building positive and trusting relationships with learners allows them to feel safe; a sense of belonging; and that their academic, cognitive, and social and emotional needs are supported.
Increasing how much and how frequently students write improves both their writing quality and content knowledge.
Students whose families are involved and feel valued within the school community are less likely to miss school, which research has shown can cause students to fall behind academically.
When students are aware that learning involves effort, mistakes, reflection, and refinement of strategies, they are more resilient when they struggle.
Providing feedback that focuses on the process of developing skills conveys the importance of effort and motivates students to persist when learning.
Learning about students' cultures and connecting them to instructional practices helps all students feel like valued members of the community, which improves Motivation and can mitigate Stereotype Threat.
Journaling allows students to reflect on their thinking and feelings, process their learning, and connect new information to what they know.
By observing, rereading, and closely analyzing published writing, students see examples and learn the strategies of good writing that they can integrate into their own Composition.
Through short but regular mindfulness activities, students develop their awareness and ability to focus.
Short breaks that include mindfulness quiet the brain to allow for improved thinking and emotional regulation.
When students write from a non-dominant or marginalized perspective, they consider and give voice to points of view that are often missing.
When teachers provide students with model texts for their writing, they learn to identify effective elements to incorporate into their own writing.
Student reflection on learning, particularly when done collaboratively, is critical for moving knowledge of content and strategies into Long-term Memory.
Having culturally relevant reading materials, including multicultural and diverse texts, are critical for supporting all students.
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